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Monday, 29 March 2010

Barnet Trade Unions Council proposes to unite with anti fascism movement against the BNP

UNION bosses have vowed to fight fascism in the borough after passing a motion at their annual general meeting last week.

Barnet Trade Unions Council met at Hendon Town Hall, in The Burroughs, on Thursday to outline proposals for the coming year and reaffirm their stance on the high profile national strikes that have been held recently.
Members of unions, including the RMT, Unison and the NUT, who live in the borough, voiced their support for the round of walkouts by British Airways staff and the Public and Commercial Services Union strikes.

Outraged unionists criticised the government for “wanting to smash the public sector and take away jobs” while others called on Barnet TUC to join national campaigns against the changes.
Proposals were also put forward for Barnet TUC to affiliate with the Unite Against Facism movement, which aims to alert British society to “the rising threat of the extreme right”, and targets in particular the British National Party (BNP).
Members agreed the increased political presence of some far right parities “needs a specific response” and approved a raft of monitions that aim to curtail the “divisions” caused by their policies.
These include supporting campaigns to remove BNP members in public services and producing their own materials on any emerging issues in Barnet to fight any appearance of the far right.
Helen Davis, chair of Barnet TUC, said: “Fascism creates a feeling that we have to keep our heads down and have to be afraid of being counted.
“The BNP have tried to stand in this borough but the pattern we have seen across the country is they keep chancing there arm where they can.
“It is only a matter of time before they come into Barnet and start trying to divide our community and we on the left want to be ready for that.”
Barnet TUC was relaunched in 2008 to “improve generally the economic and social conditions of working people” around the borough.
It has been at the forefront of campaigns against Barnet Council's plans to cut sheltered housing wardens and the future shape policy, branded easyCouncil, which seeks to outsource services to private contractors.

Ms Davis said they are key in “challenging inequality” in the community, and added: “It is clear people have come round to the idea of having a strong trade union culture in the borough.
“In the context of the economic crisis it has never been more important for a concerted effort to make sure workers in the public sector have an organised approach for that.
“The terms and conditions most people experience in order to live are under threat and the institutions and services they rely on to make sure they are okay, are under threat, and we don't think that resulting social inequality is acceptable.”