Today (Friday 16th December 2011) members of Social Work Action Network London joined other groups to protest against the Victorian Christmas being inflicted on hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled people this Christmas by Atos – a Paris-based IT company.
SWAN has received news of an anti-gay bill being passed through parliament in Nigeria. Please read the information below and support the online action against this.
SWAN is aware that a number of legal and justice groups are supporting an amendment to the passage of the new Legal Aid Bill through parliament. SWAN does not support the cuts to legal aid in any form, but would encourage comment on our forum by SWAN members about this campaign, which is supported by the Law Centres Federation. A snippet of the analysis is below.
SWAN is pleased to hear of resistance to erosion of public services and a defence campaign to save disability support services in Barnet. SWAN extends its full support to these vibrant campaigns.
At 7am yesterday morning two trade union members turned up to unlock the building at my workplace and the struggle to get all union members out on Strike began. We have to ‘think of the children’ they claimed. Dealing with betrayal at dawn is not easy but by nine o’clock we had 10 pickets, the majority of members on strike including a whole admin team who could least afford to lose a day’s pay whose loyalty to the union was second to none. By 11am we had over two thousands strikers at our city march around town and by 2.30 pm at the regional rally central Birmingham there were 5000. By the end of the day there were over 23,000 on strike in our region.
With dawn breaking in Solihull N30 picket lines formed outside seven larger Council workplaces and Solihull College for 7.30am. The NUT, NASUWT, GMB and UNISON jointly picketed the gate at the Council House in view and hearing range of the Chief Executive and Leader of the Council. Drivers going into work had an uncomfortable wait and had to speak to pickets when they requested the barrier to rise. The five entrances of the Council House each had a picket of two people.
There was a great turnout in Liverpool for N30, with the local news saying 15000 on the demo! There was a fantastic atmosphere, workers from up to 30 unions marched through the city centre. Unison, Unite, GMB and PCS were the most visible. I marched with other social work students and lecturers from Hope, social work practitioners, my practice educator and my son!
Workers, service users, educators and students together
My day started at my borough’s civic centre at 8am. It was a really lively optimistic picket, which went a long way to improving my confidence and hopes for trade unionism among the social workers and social care staff employed by the borough. Staff from one of our day centres, which was successfully shutdown on the day, joined us and so did their service user employees. The picket time was put to use by having important organising discussions among trade union reps, within which I talked about attending a Adult and Children’s social care reps meeting to discuss SWAN London!