AWP’s CEOs have now responded to the formal dispute raised by Unison two weeks ago. Management’s response doesn’t adequately address the problems which the union raised, and on Monday we had news that Unison Wiltshire and Avon branch are preparing for a strike ballot. BCWN has been (and always will be) critical of the mainstream unions, especially Unison, but nevertheless we welcome the news that Unison are prepared to fight back against the cuts. This news from Unison is timely; anecdotally, we have spoken to at least one skilled specialist administrator who is leaving their job due to the uncertainty caused by the admin review.
We were contacted last month by branch officers in Unison Wiltshire and Avon branch, inviting us to work with them around this issue. We politely declined; as stated, we have significant criticisms of the reformist trades unions, and we think it is important to keep offering workers an alternative to the status quo. However, BCWN is a workers’ organisation, and while we won’t engage with the union hierarchy, we fully support the workers and rank-and-file Unison members fighting to protect their jobs and services. This week we have been active in AWP workplaces, spreading awareness about the dispute and agitating among the affected staff to vote in favour when the ballot finally happens.
We are keen to speak to any workers in AWP (whether you are a Unison member or not) who are worried about the job cuts and who want to take a stand. We want to build a grassroots movement within the trust; to support the strike, to keep the pressure on Unison to do right by us, and to take over the struggle if and when Unison let us down.
You can get in touch with us on facebook, on twitter @bristolcwn, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about why we are against the mainstream union movement, see our report on Unison’s social care seminar here, Libcom’s critical introduction to Trade Unions here, or the Solidarity Federation’s excellent book Fighting For Ourselves: Anarcho-Syndicalism and the Class Struggle, available for free here.