Saturday, June 26, 2010

Report on the National Shop Stewards Network conference 26 06 2010

Margaret Thatcher always advised her friends only to employ a gardener who had patches on the knees of his trousers. Thatcherites like the working classes on their knees and the present coalition is no exception.

The NSSN is potentially very useful for public sector unions to co-ordinate actions and simply to exchange information. Various unions have produced data on the “gold plated” public sector pensions one reads about in the media. The median pension for PCS members is 8000 pounds a year – you couldn’t get gold-plated cufflinks on that.

There was a wide range of participants from pensioner activists who reported on the number of OAPs who are up in arms about the government’s plans…down to the Youth Fight for Jobs representatives who are seeking to secure a future for school-leavers.

The representatives of the BA cabin crews got a standing ovation – as you would expect really.

The NUT’s own Linda Taaffe moved the keynote resolution . She is using her so-called retirement to invigorate the NSSN.

The resolution aimed to get the TUC off its knees. The suggestion is that union branches and individual members should be urging them to organise a national protest against the cuts. This is in contrast to their current plan of inviting David Cameron round for tea. Matt Wrack of the FBU said this was about as useful as having a chat with the hangman about what kind of knot you want.

Contact the TUC by email, phone or via the web page:

Tel 020 7636 4030
Fax 020 7636 0632

Trades Union Congress
Congress House
Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3LS

A number of trade unions support NSSN at the highest level – the PCS, POA, RTM and FBU for example. The NSSN will work with the official Trade Union Congress when possible but without it when necessary. We have no plans to invite David Cameron to our next conference.

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