Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Lambeth Activists - For a fighting, member-led branch

We are a group of activists who believe that UNISON and the trade union movement at large needs to be rebuilt from the grass-roots, encouraging maximum participation and control of unions by members and giving workers the confidence to fight collectively for their own interests in their workplaces.

We are comprised of a group of independent socialists, members of Permanent Revolution, the Alliance for Workers Liberty, Workers Power and Green Left, the ecosocialist platform within the Green Party.

We want an inclusive, active, fighting union that effectively takes on management and the government by involving all workers in action to defend and extend our rights.
Over the last ten years the Lambeth UNISON branch has halved in size and is no longer as effective at protecting our members. We need new blood – passionate activists who are prepared to give their all to fight for members and involve them in the running of the branch.

If you agree with our policies, we ask you to support us!

Candidates for elections at the 2009 AGM:

Dan Jeffery

Assistant Branch Secretary
Reg Morrison

Membership Officer
Dan Jeffrey

Publicity Officer
James Caspell

National Delegate Conference
Dan Jeffery

Local Government Conference
James Caspell

Regional Council
Dan Jeffery

The following candidates have been elected unopposed:
Assistant Publicity Officer
Gurmeet Khurana

International Officer
Gurmeet Khurana

Young Members Officer
James Caspell

If elected, we will:
« Demand to see Lambeth Council’s accounts and find out why and how Lambeth housing is millions of pounds in debt. No more £1000 per day consultants! Open the books!
« Fight against all redundancies and job losses – including “voluntary” redundancies. Campaign for staff to refuse to cover posts and refuse overtime while staff are being made redundant
« Launch an anti-bullying campaign and end the culture of management bullying and harassment
« Campaign to end scales 1, 2 and 3. Decent wages for all!
« Launch an effective campaign for decent wage increases and an increase in London weighting. We need to force the UNISON leadership to escalate the campaign to include sustained strike action and occupations if we are to win.
« Have no more talking shops and no more “sweetheart deals”– worthless agreements with employers and Councillors made without support of the members.
« Ensure decent working conditions for all staff. Lambeth must abide by health and safety law!
« Build a campaign to defeat plans to further privatise services and cut jobs; fight to bring all council services back in-house. No more auctioning off of council houses!
« Oppose the ALMO – fight for council housing to be brought back under direct council control
« Campaign to set up a Direct Labour Organisation (DLO), implement apprenticeships and training to provide staff and local people with skills and jobs.
« Work with residents to oppose service cuts, privatisation and above inflation increases in rents and charges, and demand substantial investment in public services.
« Demand that councillors support Lambeth’s workers and tenants – or campaign against them in the next local elections. End automatic and uncritical UNISON support for Labour.
« Win the increased severance payments staff have been promised.
« Fight for branches to have the right to set up hardship funds to support members in time of need

How we will build the Branch:
« Organise to recruit and involve temporary workers, shift workers and young people. Campaign for lower union fees. The more members we have, the stronger we will be!
« A steward and notice board in every shop – fighting the bosses in every workplace.
« Ensure convenors and stewards visit workplaces and hold regular workplace meetings.
« An easily accessible web site publicising contact details and actions taken by Branch Officers.
« Regular newsletters in every directorate – let’s communicate our successes.
« Fight against racism, sexism, homophobia and all forms of discrimination. Assist democratic and accountable self-organised groups to get more members involved.
« Branch officers to be fully accountable – all Convenors and Officers to publish monthly reports of how they spend their time to serve you.
« Make the Branch Office more attractive and welcoming, for the use of all members.
« Branches and Directorates to have the right to elect industrial action committees and control and manage their own industrial disputes.

Our broader policies:
« Demand that national and regional UNISON officials are elected annually. All representatives should get the average worker’s wage. Our General Secretary earns £100,000+ a year!
« Fight for to scrap the anti-union laws such as the ban on secondary strikes
« Work to stop climate change, starting by establishing workplace environment reps
« Fight for mass mobilisation and self-defence by the working class and oppressed groups against the BNP and other far-right organisations.
« Show solidarity with workers across the world! Coordinate our struggles with other local trade unions and with workers in other countries to win better rights for all.

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