Monday, 29 February 2016

Donate now to help us commemorate the Grunwick strike!

News from Grunwick 40
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Donate now to help us commemorate the Grunwick strike!

You've heard about our plans to mark the 40th anniversary of the Grunwick strike – we want to create a mural, put on an exhibition and organise a conference. But we need to raise some money to make it happen. Our crowdfunding campaign is now live and we're relying on you to help us turn these plans into reality. Let's ensure that the heroic struggle of the Grunwick women is remembered for years to come.

Click the button to find out more
I'd like to donate to Grunwick 40
All donations, big or small, are welcome. It's easy to contribute and we have some fantastic rewards for people who make a pledge! Can you get your trade union or any other organisation to make a donation? Click here to download the model motion and contact us if you'd like us to send a speaker to your next meeting to talk about Grunwick and the plans for the commemorations.

Don't forget to forward this email to anyone who you think might be interested, and check us out onFacebook and Twitter!

In solidarity

The Grunwick 40 Steering Group
Grunwick 40 is an initiative of Brent Trades Council and the Willesden Green Town Team.
Our mailing address is:
*c/o Brent Trades Council, 375 High Road, London NW10 2JR*

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SERTUC News feb/march 2016

Also Oxford International Women's Festival, Friday 4 to Tuesday 15 March 2016: links here:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Megan Dobney
SERTUC activities and news

Paddling furiously. Equality survey launch…

On Tuesday 8 March at 4.30pm at Congress House SERTUC is launching our tenth survey of equality in trade unions. To respond to the government’s attack on trade unions we need to be in the best shape possible. Are we? Join us to find out. With a glass of wine and a peanut… Let Joanne Williams know you are coming please at

SERTUC’s Creative & Leisure Industries Committee conference

With Show Culture Some Love and PCS Culture Group on Saturday 12 March 11am at Congress House, covering Campaigns, Equalities, Art & Protest, No to Cuts, and more. Full details and register here

Airbus 8 acquitted

I’m not saying the two events are connected, but following the SERTUC meeting on 12 February with comrades from CC.OO and UGT in Madrid, the Airbus 8 have been acquitted! Details are here

Regional unemployment figures

·         East of England 124,000 (down 8,000) 3.9%
·         London 294,000 (down 3,000) 6.3%
·         South East 179,000 (down 1,000) 3.9%

Burston Strike School Rally

Sunday 4 September with Mick Whelan ASLEF, Steve White and the Protest Family

SERTUC Pensioners Network seminar: Crisis in care and caring

Tuesday 15 March 10.30 at Congress House, with Barbara Keeley MP (Shadow Minister for Older People, Social Care and Carers) andJan Shortt (Vice President of the National Pensioners Convention). Details here


#heartunions week Big Workplace Meeting

YouTube of TUC GS Frances O’Grady with Eddie Izzard is here

Disputes/union actions

Unite International Women’s Day events Tuesday 8 March

Unite House, London
·         12 noon What Next for Women? Public meeting with Kate Osamor MP, Diana Holland Unite AGS, Siobhan Endean Unite Women’s Officer, Jane Stewart Unite Women’s Committee chair. All welcome, Lunch provided
·         2pm Caring & Campaigning: Bloomsbury Women Walking tour with Blue Badge guide Rachel Kolsky. Places limited. Free to Unite sisters, other unions can attend if places are available £5. Register at
·         6pm Irish Women of Resistance 1916-2016 Public meeting with Bernadette Devlin McAliskey Irish socialist and republican, Liz Deasy and Karen Gearon Dunnes Sotres strikers, Kelley Temple Abortion Rights, Theresa Moriarty Irish socialist historian. All welcome. Refreshments provided

Equity: English National Opera strike ballot

PCS: V&A Museum campaigning against privatisation

Richmond NUT London Elections Question Time event

Thursday 17 March 6.30pm with Kevin Courtney NUT DGS, Merlene Emerson LibDems, Andree Frieze Green, Martin Whetton Labour. Register and details here

Unite Community South East

Supporting the Stand Up to Racism demo on 19 March (12 noon, London) with a coach from Southampton,

Unite London & Eastern Region public meeting

Thursday 25 February 6.30pm “Big Brother, who’s spying on you. Police spying on trade unionists” with John Lang Wapping Striker, Matt Wrack FBU GS, Helen Steel author, Mark Metcalf political activist, Jim Kelly Unite chair. More info 

Bromley Unite Library Campaign

Unite is protesting outside Bromley Community Links (the organisation chosen to run 6 Bromley libraries) 24 and 25 February, 2 and 4 March – contact for further details

PCS petition against BIS Sheffield closure plans

Trades Council actions

Peterborough International Women’s Day festival

Saturday 5 March 11am with Megan Dobney SERTUC, Nicola Oldfield Civil Engineer, Sophie Antonelli Green Backyard, Gillian Beasley Peterborough City Council, Charley Genever and Keely Mills Poets, plus info and craft stalls, refreshments, traditional dancing and exhibitions.

GLATUC celebration: Reclaim International Women’s Day

Saturday 12 March 2pm in London, with Megan Dobney SERTUC, Sarah Jackson author, Christine Blower NUT GS, Louise Raw author, Kate Smurthwaite comedian. More information here and register

Other actions/events

University of Greenwich seminar on China, Russia and the Unions

Wednesday 9 March 1pm with Professor William Brown (Cambridge), Professor Richard Croucher (Middlesex), Margaret Renn (Witwatersrand).,-russia-and-the-unions-public-seminar-at-greenwich Register

Cambridgeshire Keep Our NHS Public public meeting

Wednesday 24 February 7pm with Dr John Lister, Val Moore, a Junior Doctor. Details

Women’s rights campaigners in East London, oral history project

Eastside Community Project is promoting East End women’s history as a response to the Jack the Ripper museum on Cable Street. Do you know anyone willing to be interviewed on the subject of working women’s rights? Contact Kirsty Parsons

Stand up to Racism public meeting

Goldsmiths College Tuesday 1 March at 7pm with Imam Shakeel Begg, Denis Fernando, Vicky Foxcroft MP, Mary Goodfellow journalist, Laurie Heselden SERTUC, Shakira Martin NUS, Marcia Rigg, Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild more info

Kill the Housing Bill march

Ruskin College International Women’s Day

“Over the Top” Friday 11 March 7pm two-handed performance about a forgotten Wiltshire heroine Dorothy Lawrence, more info and contact 

Marx Memorial Library

·         Film night “Struggles of the 1960s and 1970s” Saturday 27 February 3pm The UCS Struggle and Film from the Clyde £5
·         Education classes Trade Unions and Power Tuesdays 1, 8, 15 March at 7pm at MML London £30
·         International Women’s Day benefit gig Monday 7 March 7pm with Maddy Carty, Nia Wyn, Kate Smurthwaite £10
·         Explore Radical Clerkenwell walking tour etc Friday 6 May 1.30pm £12/9
·         Book Sale Saturday 12 March 11am

Independent Working Class Education Network

The Labour Movement: where’s it from? Where’s it going? Day school Saturday 19 March 10am Norwich £10

People’s Assembly Against Austerity national demonstration

Saturday 16 April, 1pm Gower Street, London

Ruskin College BA and MA beginning in October 2016

·         BA International Labour and Trade Union Studies
·         MA Global Labour and Social Change


To add to this newsletter contact

Irish election:not over yet by Declan O'Neill

Yanis Varoufakis was quoted today on RTE (the Irish national broadcaster) as saying, in relation to the general election, “The old world is dead but there is nothing to replace it”.   I am not sure I agree completely but he has a point.   Since its inception Ireland has been governed (usually) by Fianna Fail, and occasionally Fine Gael in coalition with others. The wrongly named Labour Party has performed the role of propping up the two main parties, both right of centre, and this time has been punished viciously.  A similar fate befell the Green Party, who suffered total wipe out in 2011 as a result of being the junior party in coalition with Fianna Fail. (They are back with two TDs and 2.7% of the vote.)
Has it all changed?   In 1997 FF, FG and Labour commanded over 90% of the vote. Even in the post-crash 2011 election the big three achieved 78% of the vote.  In 2016 this dropped to 56%. The two Conservative parties, FF and FG, did not manage 50% between, them.  Renua, a right wing split from FG, has been wiped out. The “hard left” in the shape of AAA-PBP has at least 5 TDs on around 4% of the vote.  Sinn Fein (the new Fianna Fail or part of the Left?) has taken around 14%, a significant increase on its 2011 figure, but less than it hoped.  Independents – some of whom are clearly on the Left – have taken around 18% of the vote.

What happens next?  The only viable government appears to be a coalition of the old big two, FF and FG.   Given that the results make a governing coalition of the Left impossible many would  “welcome” this outcome as it might finally lead to the development of class based politics in the 26 counties.  Sinn Fein would then be the main opposition party.  Whether it would see its future as part of the Left, or seek to take over from FF as the main “republican” party, remains to be seen.  The other possibility is a return to the polls later this year, but none of the parties want to be blamed for provoking another election.   If the old world is not yet dead it is clearly in very poor health. 

Election 2016 National Summary
National Results for the 2016 General Election
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FREE EVENT - War on Want’s annual conference Resistance Rising: Responses to the Death of Democracy

FREE EVENT - War on Want’s annual conference
Resistance Rising: Responses to the Death of Democracy
10:30am - 5:30pm Saturday 23 April 2016
Student Central, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HY
Democracy is under attack. Workers’ rights are threatened via the outrageous Trade Union Bill and crackdown worldwide. Global corporations’ rights to challenge governments are growing and they are side-stepping laws through ‘free-trade’.
Yet people in the UK and across the world are resisting these unjust policies.  Join us for an inspiring day of discussion, film and practical workshops on the erosion of democracy and about resistance across the world. 
Topics will include:
  • Striking back: There is power in a union
  • Taking down unfair trade deals including CETA and TTIP in a new Europe
  • Resisting the government clampdown on local democracy, boycotts and campaigns for Palestine
  • Fighting British complicity in the abuse of rights in the global South
  • The new totalitarianism: How creeping state powers including anti-extremism strategies, are supressing political dissent
It will be an inspiring day, building on our campaigning work and sharing experiences from around the world. The conference is free and open to everyone, so please do invite your friends to come along too.
All the best, 
John Hilary
Executive Director
You can find all the details about the conference on our website at or call us on 020 7324 5051 for more info.