On my way to #Unisongate Day Two for Cross examination of UNISON witnesses.
I want to take this opportunity to remember what is important and at the heart of everything I believe grassroots organisations should be about.
Derby City Council Teaching Assistants have been taking strike action against a massive cut in salary imposed by a Labour Council which to date has taken an adversarial approach to any attempt to address this injustice.
Consider this heartbreaking story of a TA selling her home.
I heard similar stories in Durham.
What is going on in our society when an employer thinks they can impose such a life threatening pay cut on low paid workers.
For me this is a reason why grassroots trade unions are still needed. The mainstream union movement needs to radically change. The politics and tactics of appeasement are not working and I'd argue they never would. The challenge has to be to mobilise and build an active fighting resilient trade union movement that inspires members to get involved and tackle the worrying increase in inequalities both with our communities but our workplaces.
I have made a lot of messages of support for the Durham TAs campaign, and I would to help if possible to help the Derby City TAs. They are striking and it is likely to continue next term.
I am asking all my friends comrades supporters to send solidarity messages to Derby City Unison branch.
We must stay with them until they win as we are going to do for the Durham TAs.
Yesterday I heard many bad things at Unisongate hearing and I no doubt will hear more today. I learnt a comrade had been threatened by union lawyers for libel. My view is this is unacceptable, we badly need union resources allocated to grassroots union branches so they can swiftly support members in the workplace. We also need trade union reps who are not going to look away when they see something wrong. What use is a rep if they don't speak out when they see injustice. Grassroots reps risk their employment every time they speak up for members. It is a risk with being a rep, but if we are a strong union the risk of attack by employer is low. Sadly employers at the moment are only afraid of a few unions not all.
So with a heavy heart I make my way to the Employment Appeal Tribunal, but with an even stronger determination to continue to build and organise workers where ever I am.
Solidarity to the Derby City TAs
Solidarity to the Durham TAs
Solidarity to all grassroots reps & members.