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trade unions

Problems at work - No. 9: Who needs Unions?

Of course, a trade union is usually better than nothing - but if you have the chance, why not dissafilliate from the Labour Party or, better still, take the union under direct workers' control? Here.s two recent events to prove it.

Union Grows after Cutting Labour Ties

Since being thrown out of the Labour Party, the RMT, the biggest rail workers. union, has increased its membership by more than 3,000, and is one of the few trade unions in the country which is growing.

Even given this evidence, the union is still planning to take legal action to challenge the decision that it had effectively disaffiliated itself in February because it was giving financial support to other political parties. The RMT is still sending affiliation cheques to the party, but they are being returned.

Wildcat! #3

The third issue of Liverpool Solidarity Federation’s free local newsletter, Wildcat!

Contents:
- Why we need to look beyond the TUC
- Barcelona: General strike 2010
- Nick Griffin sent packing in Liverpool
- Radical Workers Bloc calls for class war against capitalism & ConDem cuts
- Crosby 1 Sainsbury’s 0
- Mini-Sudoku

A Storm is Coming - the UK anti-austerity movement

Some thoughts from one of our members on the uk’s growing anti-austerity movement and how anarchists can contribute to it…

Newcastle's Campaign Starts to Pay Off

Since starting our Better Call SolFed campaign at the end of 2014, we have seen a massive amount of effort being put into door-to-door leafleting publicising Newcastle SF as a small, radical union that fights on its own terms. The response has been fantastic - we have been as equally busy answering calls asking for advice and support from workers in the North East; we also kept in regular contact with someone as far away as Liverpool!

As well as regular contacts with disgruntled workers, we have also taken on new members in Teesside and Wearside. And with this new growth, we have began extending our door-to-door leafleting beyond Tyneside (here's a photo of some our members in Teesside today). Keep an eye out for coming newspaper ads!

The Pop Up Union: a postmortem

When management at the University of Sussex announced plans to outsource 235 jobs, workers responded by launching a 'Pop-Up Union', a new tactic in modern British industrial relations. Is this a model other workers can emulate? Solfed members involved in the Pop Up Union analyse what happened.

10. July: Strike like it's 1926 again !

Touted by some union leaders as the largest co-ordinated union action in British history, July 10 sees millions of public sector workers from across the country on strike. During the one-day action – with the promise of more days to follow - local government workers will join teachers, civil servants, fire fighters and many others.

Congratulations and solidarity to the Curzon workers!

Dear Curzon workers,

Congratulations from everyone at North London SolFed for pushing management into finally recognising your union!

That spirit of self-organisation will be all the more important in the coming fight for a living wage, as the bosses will be desperately looking for ways to demobilise you, to push you into accepting recognition as the limit "this time round" so they have time to beef up their anti-union practices for next time.

Don't accept that.

You're on the front foot, you have lots of friends and the chance to win this. Recognised or not, the strength of a union is in the will of its members on the shop floor. Keep going, direct action gets the goods!

In solidarity,

North London SF

Pop-Up Union to ballot for strike

Workers opposed to privatisation at the university of Sussex decided to ballot for industrial action after uni bosses refused to stop the ongoing outsourcing process. The move comes less than three weeks after the Pop-Up Union, an unconventional rank-and-file initiative, became officially listed as a trade union.

Report: Blacklist Support Group meeting in Liverpool

A meeting of the Merseyside Blacklist Support Group took place last Saturday (February 23rd). The event was attended by numerous blacklisted construction workers and addressed by a panel of speakers including Steve Acheson, a blacklisted electrician from Manchester who has been picketing the Fiddler’s Ferry power station for the last 5 years to highlight the injustice inflicted on him.

Steve spoke about the collusion between trade union officials and construction companies that led to him and countless others being denied employment due to their trade union activities (often simply raising health and safety concerns on sites). Steve said he had only three terms of employment over a nine-year period and had been removed from all of them as a result of being blacklisted.

General strike conference and a lesson in the arrogance of trade union leaders

In September 2012, TUC Congress overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for co-ordinated national action, up to and including a general strike.

As the first step towards putting this motion into effect, a conference took place in Liverpool on 26th January organised by Merseyside Association of Trades Union Councils. Tellingly, the conference received no funding at all from the North-West TUC.

Members of our SolFed local attended, with the aim of engaging with rank-and-file trade unionists and arguing in favour of working-class self-organisation and direct action against austerity. We distributed a leaflet which read:

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