2nd Bristol Unite the Resistance Meeting
Tuesday March 05, 2013 12:36 by huw
Second Bristol Unite the Resistance Meeting
Bristol Unite the Resistance met on Monday 4th March and brought together a number of trade unionists and activists from the area. The meeting was hosted by Bristol Unite Health Branch. We heard from Rob Wotherspoon of the CWU (Postal workers) about the threat of privatisation and the recent strikes against bullying management which has led management to back off and raise the confidence of those workers involved, which is a lesson to us all. Kathy Taylor the Branch Sec of Bristol Unite Health, spoke passionately about the threat to the NHS and the pay cartel as well as recommending the pamphlet “Trade unions and the Fight against Austerity” which the meeting launched. Richard Capps from the PCS told the meeting to applause that his union had won a ballot for strike action. All agreed for the need for all trade unionists to stand with the PCS and show solidarity by visiting the picket lines, bring union banners, sending messages of support as a way of starting to build a culture of resistance within the labour movement. Anne Lemon, who is a member of the National UTR Steering Ctte and NUT National Exec., gave an overview of the possibilities of resistance to Austerity but also the problems faced by the reluctance of our national union leaders to give the confidence to fight back and how they constantly under estimate the ability of working people to challenge the coalitions onslaught. Many trade unionists fed in with their own experiences of how they are building their unions as well as unemployed workers present raising issues such as the bedroom tax and the attacks on claimants.
The meeting agreed to build a South West and Bristol regional conference of UTR and to support the ant-austerity demonstration in Bristol on March 13th (1800 at the Fountains). We acknowledged the need to draw in people from across the region in shaping and building the conference. The date pencilled for the conference is the 11th May 2013. A number of those present volunteered to be on an organising ctte. but it is open to anyone who wants to see UTR build as big a conference as possible. The statement produced for supporting UTR and the regional conference was shared as was a model motion for union branches to back the conference. The meeting also agreed that when we have funds we would affiliate to BADACA (Bristol and District Anti Cuts Alliance) and the meeting involved a number of people involved in the local anti cuts movement. UTR looks to be part of the process where inside our unions we can put pressure on our union leaders to lead a fight against all aspects of the austerity programme. All in all a really enjoyable and inspiring meeting and a good start but there is plenty to do!
South Glos Unison (PC)