Following the 30th November public sector strike, a Leicestershire coordination meeting attended by rank and file workers, union members, unemployed workers, students and participants in Occupy Leicester took place on Thursday 1st December 2011.
The initial aim of the meeting was to find ways to:
• widen the current public sector dispute into a general dispute over the repeated attacks on the working class
• intensify the dispute and promote tactics and strategies that will improve our chances of victory
• ensure the unions don’t backtrack
• build strong grassroots workers’ organisation in Leicestershire
As well as the above, broader issues such as claimants and disability struggles were also discussed during the meeting. It was widely felt, that there is a need to build on the current public sector struggles, not only as rank and file union members and local community activists, but to also widen the current public sector struggles to include private sector and unemployed workers and claimants.
As examples of effective organisation, Tottenham Claimants’ union of the 1980s and the later anti-Poll Tax struggle were mentioned, as was the ongoing Haringey Solidarity Group which developed out of both of the Claimants’ Union and anti-poll tax movement in that area. Closer to home, the activities of the former Leicestershire IWW branch and various actions by disability activists were also looked at. Leicester Trades Council was noted as a positive workers’ organisation in the region. All of the above were seen as useful ways of developing class struggle activity in Leicestershire.
It was finally agreed to establish Leicestershire Solidarity Group.
Leicestershire Solidarity Group is independent of any political party or group. Its aim is to work towards the empowerment of working class people locally, whether public or private sector workers, unemployed or unwaged. Its activities will include the encouragement of grassroots activity within the workplace, between different workplaces and industries and in the wider local community.
Leicestershire Solidarity Group