The first covers 60 years of unbroken rank and file struggle by construction workers, including the National Building Workers Strike of 1972, the fights for safety, including from asbestos, and against the blacklisting of activist workers, up to the Shut-the-sites campaign last year in the pandemic, and this year’s campaign against deskilling of electricians at Hinkley Point C (‘No 2 ESO’) all threaded together by construction activist JT Murphy’s 100 year-old chant: “With the bosses never, With the trade union officers sometimes, With the rank and file always”.
The second film, in contrast, is about the collective aspirations of young people and people of colour for land and food justice. All very well you may be thinking, but where’s the power for change to come from? At which point the film deftly switches to the fierce and persistent militancy of Indian farmers in the face of three laws designed to commodify land and food for private profit. The Indian Farmers are even bringing their protest to Glasgow this weekend.
Here’s the video of Ian Allinson’s introduction to a discussion on organising in the workplace that we held on 25th June 2021. Ian is a former Fujitsu shop steward who ran as a candidate for the Unite union general secretary in the last election.
You can read the full notes from the meeting as a PDF here. What follows are some of the main points that were discussed.
We started with a discussion on the likely impact of the general election result. It’s likely that there will be detrimental changes to regulations and standards – areas that could be effected include energy from waste, devolved powers, outsourcing and tendering, nuclear policy, targets and subsidies, energy distribution and supply and workers rights. There is a likelihood for heightened tension between Westminster and Holyrood over many of these issues. The big issues in the Scottish context include Oil and Gas (particularly INEOS), Public Transport, Housing and the opportunities and challenges presented by the COP being held in Glasgow.
We resolved to do all we can encourage discussion and action in workplaces and community settings. Wherever possible we will do this in partnership. We will encourage requests to help set up or provide resources for events. We agreed to prioritise setting up events in Fife, Falkirk and Aberdeen and with the Construction Rank and File group.
We agreed to work on four new briefings (we are always open for suggestions of amendments to existing briefings and suggestions for new ones) – working titles for the new additions are: