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From: The Socialist issue 1055, 11 September 2019: Tory meltdown - Organise to finish them off

Search site for keywords: Climate change - Union - Trade union - Strikes - Equity - Culture - Arts

Climate strikes: trade union round-up

Equity members on a protest against Universal Credit outside the High Court, 17.7.19, photo NSSN

Equity members on a protest against Universal Credit outside the High Court, 17.7.19, photo NSSN   (Click to enlarge)


Performing arts union Equity joins the list published in the last issue of the Socialist of unions organising for action. The motion below was passed by Equity North and East London General branch on 13 July. It received partial approval, with qualifications, from the union's ruling council on 3 September.

Climate change affects all Equity members and has a direct impact on our industrial conditions including working temperatures. Given the very recent confirmation of 20 September as the global day of action on climate change... This branch urges council to:

1. Declare support, publicly and among members, for the general aims of the climate emergency day of action: namely, raising awareness of the climate crisis and demanding action to address it.

2. Support the campaign on 20 September, including lawful actions such as encouraging members to organise protests during breaks or before or after working hours on that day, and encouraging members to take part in lawful demonstrations and meetings.

3. Put pressure on government and industry to take urgent action to address the issue.

London arts and culture workers

Trade union activists from workplaces including the Tate, British Library and Southbank Centre, and the PCS, Bectu, Unison, UCU and Equity unions, met informally in Fleet Street on 10 September. The discussion included:

Some PCS branches have elected workplace 'green reps' to pressure employers on environmental practices, and other branches and unions could consider doing the same.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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