Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Important Conference Coming Up

The national shop stewards network conference is scheduled for Saturday 7th July at South Camden Community School, Charrington Street, London from 11am-5pm. This is the conference arising out of the meeting convened by the RMT union in October last year. The basis for the network was set out then -

National Shop Stewards Network – Founding Basis

A National Shop Stewards Network should be set up on the following basis:

1. Participation and support is a matter for individual TUC affiliated trade unions.

2. The National Shop Stewards Network will be made up of bona fide rank and file TUC affiliated trade union workplace representatives. The participation of full time trade union officials would be as observers with speaking rights.

3. It would not encroach on the established organisation and recruitment activity or interfere in the internal affairs and elections of TUC affiliated trade unions or the functions of the TUC.

4. The aim of the Network would be

• To offer support to TUC affiliated trade unions in their campaigns and industrial disputes;

• To offer support to existing workplace committees and trades councils.

We support the establishment of a steering group of ten trade unionists from this conference. The role of this steering group would be to organise a formal delegate conference in the spring of 2007, open to all TUC affiliated trade union shop stewards, to establish a National Shop Stewards Network as outlined on the basis of points 1-4 above.

Bob Crow of the RMT sketched out the rationale for the new network - "If we are to roll back the tide of privatisation and war, rebuilding the grass roots of our movement is essential"

More information and a model resolution for your union branch can be found at
This is a worthwhile initiative that could potentially be another jigsaw piece in the big picture of how we build an effective resistance to accelerating neo-liberalism and put together a movement that can formulate an alternative.

The necessity for this and other initiatives becomes all the more urgent after hearing the speech given by Gordon Brown tonight to the bosses of the CBI. Brown's speech was pure neo-liberalism - deregulation, flexibilisation, "sweeping away obstacles" and all. Amongst the obstacles are "risk averseness" (i.e workers' security and health and safety), and the current planning system (local people's right to have a say or some influence - however limited at present - on what happens in their community). Brown gleefully announced that next week saw the publication of the planning and energy reviews - basically expected to be the charter for big business to ride roughshod over ordinary people outlined in the Barker report and the total capitulation to the nuclear lobby flagged up by the government's so-called "consultation" that fell foul of legal criticism.

These are signs, along with his sickly sucking up to the ridiculous David Brent impersonator Digby Jones, that Brown intends to continue New Labour's neo-liberal programme unabated. If the Barker report is a significant influence on the planning review it will be a further sign that we are headed for a form of corporatism that was last seen in Europe in the 1930s. The unity of workers and the mobilisation of communities are going to be the orders of the day to resist this creeping totalitarianism.

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At 2:23 pm, Anonymous Andrew Walton said...

I'll be attending for one. I chatted to you on urban75 once, after I had posted details of a local SP meeting on what might happene once the oil crisis hits.
Look forward to seeing you there!


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