Indro Sen 1952-2020

Former secondary maths teacher, primary school governor,  College of North West London lecturer,  and most importantly trade unionist, Indro Sen has died shortly before his 68th birthday.

In 2016-17 Indro was involved in a dispute at CNWL over his allegations of corruption in an apprenticeship scheme. He was suspended from his job allegedly because of his support at an employment  tribunal for a sacked colleague and his opposition to the CNWL’s merger with Westminster College.

At the time Peter Murry, Trade Union Liaison officer for the London Federation of Green Parties and for Brent Green Party  supported Sen and said,   ‘Both of these are actions are entirely proper for a University and College Union Branch Secretary to carry out.… Read on ...

History does not repeat itself but…

History does not repeat itself but Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament reminds us of how fast the anti-Parliamentary decisions by German Chancellors opened the door to the Nazi Party taking power in January 1933.

Johnson’s intention to prorogue Parliament has disturbing similarities with events starting in March 1930. As in Germany, events unfolded over a couple of years. First, there was May’s failed intention to bypass Parliament and trigger article 50 by invoking an ancient crown prerogative. In 1930, the right-wing Centre Party Chancellor, started to rule almost entirely through the decrees of President Hindenburg, not through the Reichstag. Then, in June 1932, the next Chancellor, Von Papen, another Centre Party member, under the influence of the Nazis, persuaded Hindenburg to dissolve the Reichstag altogether and lift the ban on the SA.… Read on ...

Solidarity with the Birmingham Muslim community

We condemn this disgusting targeting of our Muslim sisters and brothers in Birmingham and we stand in solidarity with you. We call on all trade unionists to prioritise the fight to defend our communities against racist attacks and call for renewed funding of further education to deliver hope and understanding in the place of the ignorance and hatred that flourishes when educational opportunity is smashed.
We condemn the continual feed of “othering” of Muslims in our media and through institutional use of the Prevent strategy as part of the process of dehumanisation leaving our sisters and brothers open to attack, and continue our resistance to this.… Read on ...

Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia and the Labour Movement

What is undeniable is that an atrocity has taken place. Whether or not we discover the full story, Khashoggi is a victim of state murder by agents of a regime synonymous with repression and his death has provoked global outrage. The killing is anything but an isolated event….

Read the full branch statement “Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia and the Labour Movement”, which may be downloaded here….

The last branch meeting also asked Dave to draft a motion formally expressing our position.
This may be read here…

Open letter from UK academics

The harsh sentencing of anti-fracking campaigners sets a dangerous precedent

We the undersigned are writing to express our growing concern about the shrinking space for communities and environmental defenders to engage in civil opposition to fracking developments in the UK.

Sign here…

This week three non-violent campaigners opposing fracking were jailed for 15 to 16 months simply for ‘causing a public nuisance’ and for not expressing regret. Although others have received jail sentences in more recent times, this is the first time since 1932 that environmental defenders have been imprisoned for such long periods of time for staging a protest in the UK.… Read on ...

Socialist bookshop calls for solidarity following Nazi attack

Bookmarks bookshop in Bloomsbury, central London, has called on supporters to attend a solidarity event following an attack by far
right thugs.
Twelve men invaded the shop last Saturday, destroying displays, wrecking books and chanting Alt-right slogans. One was wearing a Donald Trump mask.
Since the attack Bookmarks the socialist bookshop has received messages of support from leading figures in the trade union and labour movements and thousands of activists from around the world.
Those tweeting their support include singer and activist Billy Bragg, Rupa Huq MP, historian Louise Raw and Guardian columnist Owen Jones. David Lammy MP tweeted: “The normalisation of far right politics is
already leading to chaos and vandalism on our streets.… Read on ...

What is wrong with using Amazon?

Amazon are Union Busters

Amazon have a little-reported, but undeniable record of preventing their work force from unionising. In 2001, Amazon.co.uk hired a US management consultancy organisation, The Burke Group, to assist in defeating a campaign by the Graphical, Paper and Media Union (GPMU, now part of Unite the Union) to achieve recognition in the Milton Keynes distribution depot. It was alleged that the company sacked four union members during the 2001 recognition drive and held a series of captive meetings with employees.

Also In 2001, 850 employees in Seattle were laid off by Amazon.com after a unionisation drive. The Washington Alliance of Technological Workers (WashTech) accused the company of violating union laws, and claimed Amazon managers subjected them to intimidation and heavy propaganda.… Read on ...

Take a Stand Against Racism : July 14 2018

Resolution of the UCU London Retired Members Branch – 29th June 2018

UCU Retired Branch notes the fifteen thousand strong demonstration of the far right wing on June 9th in central London which chanted racist and islamophobic hate messages, made Hitler salutes, violently took over a tourist bus, attacked and injured police and attempted to break the gates of Downing Street. We recognise that there is a dangerous far right mass movement growing, which unites elements of UKIP, the EDL, its former leader Tommy Robinson, the BNP and the expanding Democratic Football Lads Alliance. It has international far-right support from, for example, the USA (Steve Bannon), Holland (Geert Wilders), Germany (Alternative fuer Deutschland), Belgium (Filip de Winter).

Read on ...

Statement on events at UCU Congress

We UCU elected delegates voted repeatedly in line with the advice of our Congress Business Committee to hear motions criticising the General Secretary which were in order. Unfortunately the General Secretary and a narrow majority of the National Executive Committee refused to accept the right of Congress to debate these motions. We believe the union members have the right to hold our most senior elected officials to account. This is a basic democratic right in all trade union and representative systems (e.g., Parliament). We disagree with the walkouts and reject the notion that the motions include a threat to undermine staff terms and conditions.Read on ...