From the TUC

“All Together” Trades Union Council Activity

22 Oct 2010, By

Lots of activity being organised by trades union councils around the country, co-ordinating with their Regional TUC campaigns. Thought I would bring to your attention the work of Chelmsford TUC in Essex who sent me this report today.

“We held a good public meeting on 22 September after which we formed a Chelmsford Against the Cuts group. We have established a website at http://chelmsfordagainstcuts.wordpress.com/ and progress is in hand for a Facebook group. We have been leafletting against the cuts every Saturday and collecting signatures and have bought a banner. A photo is on the Chelmsford TUC web site of our demonstration in the town after the Chancellor made his announcement. We also published a leaflet attacking his statement and distributed to commuters on their way home.

The group is very positive and made up of different political views from the left and we all work well together. We have produced a number of leaflets which we intend to update regularly. We keep in touch constantly and Unison has been very supportive. We have received money from the Co-op Party, Labour Party and union branches.

We participated in a local newspaper “soapbox” event and had a lot of positive publicity although one self-employed worker objected to our position on public service pensions. Oh dear! We have been sending, and getting published, regular reports of our meetings. Petitioning and leafletting will continue again this Saturday from 11am to 1pm and we will also use PCS and CWU leaflets opposing the sale of Royal Mail.

Thanks to those who have sent in donations to pay for our banner, leaflets and other expenses. We have had £25 from the Co-operative Party, £100 from CWU (Telecoms) South East Anglia Political Fund, and £50 from Chelmsford Labour Party. We know that other trade union branches are also progressing donations.

We have also developed a strategy for action over the coming months. This will include engaging with shop stewards and reps in as many key sectors as possible. Arrangements have been made to visit a number of workplaces including the bus station, fire station, Anglia Ruskin, Benefit Office, County Hall, Chelmsford Borough Council, mail depots and FE Colleges. Chelmsford TUC will also assist in this regard but if you have any contacts do let us know; more importantly, try to get them involved in our activities. The objective being to hold an Essex-wide meeting in the middle of December to co-ordinate activity and to maximise support for the TUC demonstration in March. We also agreed to give support to other cuts groups in Essex when they hold meetings.

We will be targetting Essex County Councillors in the coming weeks and we will be developing ten questions for them to answer. Let us have your ideas on this so that we can circulate everyone; the email avalanche can then begin.We will also be attending the meeting of ECC’s Cabinet on the evening of 16 November (time to be advised) and the full meeting of the Council on 14 December at 10am.

The next meeting (we plan to make them every second and fourth Wednesday in the month) is on 10 November and then 24th November in the Red Lion at 7.30pm.”

Local union branches wanting to get involved in this activity should contact and affiliate to Chelmsford Trades Union Council through its website, www.chelmsford-tuc.org.uk/, or its secretary Malcolm Wallace on [email protected]