Open Letter to Trade Union Leaders

Open Letter to Trade Union Leaders: Stop the Tory Shutdown

04-09-2019 \\ England and Wales

Picketers along road waving Unison banners

Trade Unions must take the lead! Organise to end Johnson’s shutdown, force a General Election and kick the Tories Out.

Boris Johnson’s manoeuvre to prorogue Parliament in order to force through a No-Deal Brexit should be resisted by workers across the country. However you voted in 2016, this attempt to circumvent the limited democratic structures we have, sets a chilling precedent for the future. If a Prime Minister thinks they can simply dismiss Parliament when they can’t get their way, how will this be used against workers and young people on other issues?

This battle will not ultimately be decided in Westminster but in the streets, within our communities and crucially, our workplaces. We look to the USA for inspiration: the Federal shutdown earlier this year was not ended by politicians in Congress or lawyers in court but by the Air Traffic Controllers taking unofficial strike action and cabin crew coming out in solidarity. This shows the power of the organised working class, a power we must harness. Decisive action, led by the trade unions, would give confidence to those in unorganised workplaces to get organised and aid the rebuilding of a powerful trade union movement in Britain.

Boris Johnson is now appealing to the population as the man who is trying to deliver on the referendum result but after 9 years of austerity and privatisation, we shouldn’t trust him to do anything in our interests. We need a General Election so we can get rid of the Tories and fight for a Corbyn led government to implement policies in the interests of all workers and young people.

We call on trade union leaders to organise the 6.23million trade unionists in this country to take action: lunchtime protests, walk ins and yes, coordinated national strike action to end the shutdown and force a General Election. The Trade Union Congress in Brighton from 9th September must debate and agree on a way forward, with a national demonstration a starting point. The signatories to this letter commit to contacting our respective delegates to the TUC to raise this. In the absence of the TUC coordinating such action, we call on any willing trade union leaders, executive members, officers and workplace reps to come together to coordinate action.

Sign the letter here

Signatories at time of publication:

Nicky Downes, NEU NEC member
Jacqui Berry, Unison NEC member
Aislinn Macklin Doherty BMA
Louise Cuffaro, Newham NEU District Secretary
Graeme Hendry UNISON branch chair, Medway Hospital Chair of Staff Side
Jason Waters NEU
Paul Hunt, Assistant Branch Secretary, Coventry City UNISON
Ian Crosson UCU membership sec, Poplar Branch, New City College
Max Toynbee, Lambeth NEU
Hannah Flynn, Unite
James Clement, PCS Rep
Janey Jouavel NEU School Rep
James Kerr, NEU School Rep
Eleanor Davies, Lewisham NEU Ex-President
Zoe Brunswick, BMA LNC rep
Sam Morecroft, UCU Yorkshire & Humberside Regional Executive
Liat Norris, PCS Midlands Commttee
Linda Cronin, UCU branch chair Roehampton
Carol Cody, UCU City of Liverpool College Liaison secretary
Eoin Dawson, NIPSA
Fiona Pashazeh, UCU
Glyn Matthews, CWU
Gareth Spencer, PCS branch secretary Southbank Centre
Stewart Hume, Unite
Cecily Blyther, UCU NEC rep casuality members in FE
Jason Toynbee, retired rep
Dan Crowter, UNISON young members officer Coventry City
Matthew Dale, retired
Patrick Lawlor, NIPSA national Vice President
Grant Buttars, UCU branch president University of Edinburgh
Kevin Corran, UNISON membership officer
Julie Marinescu, NIPSA
Caroline Wheeler, Unite IEC member
Alex Smith, Unite
Dave Lunn, PCS Vice President Land Registry Group
Andrew Waterman, UCU anti Casualisation Officer
Andrew Travers, UNISON Medway Hospital branch
Miranda Crawford, UNISON
Delia Hazrati, Society of Radiographers
Amy Johnson, NEU West Sussex
Shana Carquez, NEU Sutton District
Lisa Vincent-Smith, BMA
Martha Abernathy, Society of Radiographers
Holly Rigby, NEU Newham
Mirela Reynolds, Unite Medway Foundation Trust
Chas Berry, NAPO National Executive member
Darragh McCarthy, NIPSA
Andrew Walton, Unison
Sam Gleadon, Unison
Amy Ferguson, Unite Belfast hospitality branch secretary
Neil Moore, Unite
Paul Moorhouse, UCU/Unite
Dr Jackie Grunsell, Unite and BMA
Dave Harding, Unison
Michael Willmott, Unite
Rory Conway, Unite Hospitality
Winnie Mulholland, Unite
Marian Mayer, UCU Bournemouth University
Vladimir Bortun, UCU
T Black, NIPSA
Kirstie Paton, NEU National Executive member Inner London
Dave Auger, Unison deputy branch secretary City of Wolverhampton
Sean Burns, Unite RYMC
Danny Byrne, Unite
Connor Rosoman, USDAW
Joe Lynch, Unison
Durah Ashton, GMB union rep
Ellen Robson, Unison Hemel Hempstead
Andrew Carss, BFAWU
Gwen Vickers, UCU
Steven North, Unison NEC and Salford City branch secretary
Kevin Pourmostofi, Unite Equalities Officer Hospitality branch
Paddy Meehan, CWU Belfast

*All signed in personal capacity