Delegates meet in Brighton for Unite’s Rules Conference this week. The new Unite Rank & File leaflet covers the need for resistance to the jobs massacre and to link it to tackling the climate emergency, defending migrants’ rights, sexual harassment and bullying within Unite, some of the proposed rule changes, and the need for solidarity with the indefinite strike at Colloids for the reinstatement of George Gore.
Unite members at Colloids in Kirkby are in their fifth week of an indefinite strike which began on 20 May for the reinstatement of their victimised rep George Gore. Let’s make sure it feels like they have a million members behind them.
Management claim George was sacked for a safety breach, but Unite and workers say that managers are guilty of frequent safety infringements but go unpunished. Workers see the dismissal as an attack on the union. A solidarity rally on 19 June swelled the pickets and no trucks attempted deliveries. Pickets say production has stopped due to the strike, despite un-unionised office staff and a few scabs going in. The strike and increasing leverage activities have brought the company to the table, but workers are determined to stay out until George is reinstated.
Show your support at the 24 hour pickets at Colloids Limited, 10 Kirkby Bank Road, Knowsley, L33 7SY. You can send messages of support to firstname.lastname@example.org. Updates are being posted on the Unite North West Facebook page. Donations payable to “Unite NW/84 Alpla branch” can be sent to Pat Coyne, Unite the union, 100 Hallgate, Wigan, WN1 1HP. Share support for the disputes on social media using #ReinstateGeorge. The image below can be printed for solidarity photos.
The release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report last autumn was a game changer in laying bare how serious the climate crisis is and how little time we have to turn things around. In the wake of Extinction Rebellion and the massive global school strikes, a call has now been made for a global general strike on the week of the 20th September.
Lecturers’ union UCU and bakers’ union BFAWU have already announced their support. We believe its time for Unite to play a leading role in the campaign to stop runaway climate change. As the country’s largest union we should throw our weight behind this campaign and build for the biggest possible strike against the climate crisis in September. The Unite executive meets shortly and we hope they will issue a statement supporting members who want to join the global strike. Striking isn’t easy and every workplace needs support to take the maximum action they can – whatever that is.
Earlier this year, the UNITE Executive Council voted to significantly increase strike pay (Dispute Benefit). All members now engaged in strike action will receive Dispute Benefit of £50 per day from day one, an increase from £35 previously.
This is unrivalled in the trade union movement. It sends a strong message to those companies intent on exploiting their workforce, that UNITE members will be financially as well as industrially supported and should provide even more confidence and encouragement to members needing to take such action to achieve their objective.
The agenda for Rules Conference is now out. Delegates and other interested members can access it here: