Sunday, 29 June 2008

Thank You Comrades!

To Bal, Mo, Hark, Probjot, Jim and Clara,

Many thanks again for making this year's AMICUS/UNITE Leadership Skills course for BME members and activists such a stimulating and challenging course.

This course ran between 23-27 June at the AMICUS/UNITE Centre in Esher and is one of the leadership skills events for a range of equality strands including LGBT and women members.
A question I'd like to propose to visitors of this blog is one that arose from the outset of the BME course which was whether there is still a need to hold BME-only activist training. There was much debate during the week around this question and I'd welcome contributions on this point.
Best wishes

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

2008: A Summer of Discontent?


With the announcement that UNISON members in local government have voted 55% to 45% in favour of industrial action and with similar activity predicted amongst PCS and Prospect members does this herald a significant period of sustained trade union action over the Summer?

Even if this does what will be the impact?

Alistair Darling has clearly said that all workers, and by this he invariable means the public sector should take the lead, should show restraint in their pay demands and effectively tighten their belt within the current strained economic climate.

So, even if we have consecutive bouts of action across the public and even private sector will this shift the government's position pay policy?

As usual all comments welcome.



Thursday, 12 June 2008

UMF - Tory Style

Would you like a large cheque from David Cameron?

There was a very interesting article in The Times on Tuesday which strongly hinted that the Tories might consider the continuity of the Union Modernisation Fund (UMF) should they be elected at the next general election. Have a look at the article:

When I mentioned this to a close friend his only thought was that under Thatcher there had been very significant activity to 'modernise' the movement - and look at what happened then!

So, what would the UMF look like under Cameron. Would it be partnership, partnership, partnership?

Comments sought.



Friday, 6 June 2008

Colombia: Keeping Up The Pressure


If you have attended a course with me that has an international dimension you will have heard me repeat the phrase that Colombia is the most dangerous place in the world to be a trade unionst. Nearly 200 trade union activists have been murdered in Colombia since January 2008.

Last month I was fortunate enough to spend some time delivering a course for UNISON with Miguel Puerto the Latin American officer for the International Centre for Trade Union Rights (he is a great speaker - please contact him via Miguel documents these murders and undertakes great work to maintain the pressure on the Colombian government. ICTUR reports the total number that have died since the election of the right wing Uribe government at approximately 2,500.

The fantastic work of ICTUR and other organisations has now led to the Colombian government being hauled before the ILO to account for the persecution, torture and muder of trade unionists. Read the article on the PSI web site:

As a modest but important step to keep the pressure on the Colombian authorities, UNI Global Union would like every trade union activist in the UK to send a message to Colombian embassies around the world.

Please send a message via the LabourStart web site: