Conference 2018 – International Solidarity

‘We have the people’

Photograph of American trade unionist Dr Lorretta Johnson addressing delegates at the UNISON National Conference 2018.
Loretta Johnson -‘We have the people’

Thursday morning’s session of national conference concentrated on debates on international issues.

Brexit and our rights
A motion was debated about the impact of Brexit. Speakers pointed out the need to also protect workers’ rights as well as those of women, LGBT people and others. Whatever peoples’ views on Brexit, the Tories must not be allowed to use it as an excuse to roll back all those rights.

Children in Palestine
Conference also passed a motion about the treatment of Palestinian children. Many delegates spoke angrily about the systematic detention, prosecution and mistreatment of Palestinian children by the Israeli state and by the failure of the British government to challenge Israel’s actions.

Loretta and the Bear

We heard from a guest speaker, Loretta Johnson, a leading US trade unionist who spoke about the challenge of organising in the Trump era, emphasising the need for trade unions to work together across borders. She has been organising for over 50 years, and that the employers might have the money but we had the people. Quote of the day: “if you see me in a fight with a bear – help the bear!”.

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