Message from London Metropolitan University Staff

This message was sent to TSSA, FBU and NUJ as well as to ourselves.

Dear brothers and sisters,

Just a short note to show you our unconditional support for your strikes and that we're encouraging our members to do the same - see below.

In solidarity, Max Watson Chair, London Met Uni UNISON Branch


Dear UNISON members,

Our exec committee met yesterday and we agreed (amongst other things) to send a message of support to the four unions currently in dispute in London: the RMT & TSSA on the underground, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU)> and the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).

We realise, however, that some of our members are not supportive of the current disputes because of the disruption they will cause. We noted the following:

1) Trade union members do not take strike action lightly (as we all know) and only as a last resort. 2) The current dispute on the tube is about safety - with less staff in the underground, the Tube will be a less safe place to be, especially at night. 3) The firefighters do not wish to strike during the busiest week of their lives, but have been given no choice. Imagine if our management promised to sack every single one of us if we didn't agree to new terms and conditions? How would you respond? 4) The proposed change to the firefighters shift patterns will lead to closures of fire stations, meaning less firefighters and making London a more dangerous place. 5) The NUJ are taking strike action over attacks on their pensions. UNISON has pledged to defend our pensions too - Dave Prentis (UNISON's General Secretary) said at our conference this year that if the government attacks our pensions, we will also ballot for strike action. 6) Sometimes management refuses to negotiate, and the media tends to report their side of the story, but not the union's. 7) All four unions balloted their members and got overwhelming support for strike action.

So, our branch executive resolved to: a) Support all three strikes; b) Send messages of support to all four unions; c) Email you all with the above message and info from the unions themselves, to encourage you to support these strikes.

An attack on their rights is an attack on all our rights - an attack on the pensions, pay or terms and conditions of any worker is an attack on all of us. All these workers deserve all of our support. Please see the following union's websites for more details.

1) Tube staff to strike again to defend safety and jobs Suspend cuts and we will halt strikes, say RMT and TSSA. Strike action by more than 11,000 members of RMT and TSSA, the two biggest unions on London Underground, will go ahead tomorrow evening after Tube bosses again failed to suspend their "dangerous and unnecessary" plan to axe 800 safety critical station staff. Read the rest of the TSSA press release here: Read the RMT press release here:

2) BBC pensions dispute - NUJ members refuse to pay more for less in retirement. Journalists across the BBC are to strike at plans to make them "pay more, work longer and receive lower pensions". 70% of NUJ members rejected the BBC's latest pension proposals. Union reps today agreed plans for a series of strikes and other industrial action with the threat of a walkout at Christmas on the cards. Read more here:

3) A DAY OF SHOCKING VIOLENCE AGAINST LONDON'S FIREFIGHTERS Vehicles driven at speed into three FBU pickets / Two strike-breakers arrested / Strike-breaking contractors refuse first aid equipment to the injured On Monday 1st November, three members of the Fire Brigades Union were hit and hurt by speeding vehicles driven by strike-breakers. First, a Croydon firefighter was hit by a speeding car driven by a non-union manager at Croydon fire station. FBU president Mick Shaw, who was there, described what happened.

-- An alternative to the message of solidarity, above, would be this:

First they came for the RMT and I didn't speak out because I don't work on the underground. Then they came for the FBU and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a firefighter. Then they came for the NUJ but I didn't speak out because I didn't work at the BBC. Then they came for public sector workers in UNISON but there was nobody left to speak out for us.


Keep in touch.


On behalf of the UNISON Branch Executive Committee