Union activists are gearing up for the Organising for Fighting Unions conference, set for London on 11 November.
The conference was initiated by Respect. It is gathering support from people from across the unions.
Bobby Noyes, the chair of Southampton Unison health branch, spoke to Socialist Worker in a personal capacity.
She said, “We discussed support for the conference at a recent branch executive. Six stewards immediately said they wanted to attend the conference.
“These were nearly all new stewards who had just been to Unison conference and were excited and exhilarated by all the things going on around the conference.
“They want to do something, as there are job cuts and threatened privatisation taking place here.
“We passed a motion asking Southampton trades council to circulate material to all its affiliates asking them to sponsor the conference. This was agreed by the trades council.
“We are going to have another meeting in September to discuss transport and travelling together. This way we can discuss reorganising the union’s grassroots on the way back.”
Leading figures in the unions are also backing the campaign.
Hector Wesley, a member of the PCS civil service workers’ union national executive, told Socialist Worker, “Activists across the left need to come together.
“We have a Labour government weakening and in danger of going into opposition. A resurgent Tory Party is saying strange things about how good public services are.
“We need to have a proper discussion about building fighting unity across the unions.
“PCS members are under attack. Every member knows that they need to be a member in an organisation fighting to defend jobs and services.
“That’s why our membership has grown over the last few years.
“That’s the reason PCS members are supporting this event. It is a broad-based coalition, not controlled by one group, bringing people together. We need to unite as far as possible.”
For more information go to www.respectcoalition.org