Wednesday, November 30, 2011

UNISON Housing Association Pension Strike November 30

I had all the placards, banners, flags and leaflets etc at home, so I took a minicab this morning at 6.30am to the picket and lobby at Islington. It was a relief to see that there was 3 branch members waiting for me on site at 7am.  We then spent the next couple of hours busy setting things up. The concourse outside the Highbury and Islington Underground station and the traffic island is very busy and high profile.  We put placards, balloons and flags on railings, trees and street furniture.  While leafleting and talking to the public. 

There was an overwhelmingly positive reaction from commuters and passersbyes.  A few idiotic comments but so few as to be remarked upon. Unite members who were not on strike had taken leave in order to take part. Journalists from the "Morning Star" and "Inside Housing" came to visit and interview us.  As well as a Swiss journalist. We had "Jiving for decent pensions" lessons given free to pickets by Sarah, our branch finance officer, who is a Jiving Dancing champion and instructor (see next post).  I was  the only one who didn't mind the lessons being filmed despite me being completely rubbish at jiving!

There was also a successful branch picket outside Gem House in Aldgate.

Next some of us went to the local Islington rally outside the Town Hall, while I went to meet Gloria Hanson, the UNISON regional Convenor in Holburn. We took part with branch members in the march through central London. At the Rally in Victoria Embankment, Gloria was a speaker to the estimated 30,000 crowd. Afterwards we joined the UNISON picket line outside St Thomas Hospital which went on until 6pm. We had a little break to see a guest off but returned to the picket line later until it finished. Then a quick beer (or three) and home.  I'll post futher pics on the Strike day later.

Completely knackered but it was a really good day. I hope you-know-who-you-are: are listerning and will have the decency to give us pension justice. Go on - surprise us.
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