Branch meeting 16th November 2015: Motions For DM

 

These are the motions that we will be discussing at the next Branch meeting on 16th November. It will be our last opportunity to debate these important issues before they are submitted the the union for adition to the motions for Delegates Meeting to be held in April 2016.

(Proposers and secounders names have been removed from this online version)

 

Climate change

his DM notes:

1) The mass of scientific evidence that proves human activity, and particularly the burning of fossil fuels, is responsible for climate change. 

2) Campaigns around the world aimed at encouraging corporations, pension funds and organisations to disinvest from fossil fuel companies. 

3) The One Million Climate Change Jobs campaign that was set up by trade unionists and campaigners to set out the work that needs to be done in the transition to a low carbon economy fit for the future. This campaign is now backed by eight national trade unions and the TUC.

4) Moves by the government to reinvigorate the UK nuclear power industry. 

5) Moves by the government to encourage the expansion of fracking. 

6) That there will be demonstrations and events ahead that will be held in order to press the government to increase significantly incentives favouring major investment in renewable energy. 

This DM believes: 

1) That trade unionists have a responsibility to be among those organisations leading the campaign for action to combat climate change and to ensure the bulk of fossil fuels remain in the ground.

2) That tackling climate change, especially through the creation of climate jobs, is of enormous relevance for trade unions. 

3) That there is an urgent need to replace power stations burning fossil fuels with renewable energy, such as solar panels, wind farms and tidal dams. 

4) That fracking should be opposed. 

5) That the nuclear option consumes huge amounts of fossil fuels in construction and subsidiary operations, and amounts to a dangerous blind alley. 

This DM instructs the NEC to: 

1) Write to the Campaign Against Climate Change (CaCCTU) giving the union’s backing and encourage branches to send delegates to its trade union group. 

2) To purchase and send a copy of the newly updated One Million Climate Jobs report to the branch secretaries of every NUJ branch and organise branch meetings with speakers from the campaign. 

3) To encourage the membership to attend and join events and demonstrations calling for an end to fracking, the burning of fossil fuels and for investment in renewable energy. 

4) To encourage members to attend and join events and demonstrations calling for the phasing out of nuclear power.

Anti-racism

This DM notes:

1) We are witnessing the biggest movement of people since the Second World War.

2) By October last year, more than 2,500 people had drowned in the Mediterranean Sea trying to reach Europe, while thousands more languished in camps in the most appalling conditions.

3. The government’s response has been completely inadequate and has sought to demonise people who are fleeing war, poverty, and persecution.

4. Stand Up To Racism is abroad-based campaign that seeks to challenge racism, Islamophobia and the scapegoating of migrants and refugees.

This DM believes:

1) The 80,000 who attended the SUTR jointly organised ‘Refugees Welcome’ march in London demonstrates there is widespread support for allowing more refugees into the UK.

2) The government’s austerity measures pose a far greater threat to the public’s standard of living than migrants and refugees.

3) The NUJ has an important role to play in the media coverage of such issues and should campaign to make “refugees welcome here” a reality.

4. That although the threat from fascist groups such as the EDL, the BNP and Britain First has declined, the NUJ and other unions need to maintain support for anti-fascist and anti-racist organisations, including the TUC-backed Unite Against Fascism which has mobilised against fascist marches 18 times in Rotherham alone in the past two years. 

This DM instructs NEC to:

1) Support and campaign for Stand Up to Racism and to mobilise union members on demonstrations it calls nationally and locally.

2) Reiterate support for Unite Against Fascism and other anti-racist, anti-fascist organisations.

3) Urge members to respect the dignity of refugees when reporting on the crisis. This includes the choice of words (using the terms “asylum seeker” or “illegal migrant” should be condemned as derogatory) as well as general reporting standards such as the refugees right to anonymity, right to privacy and consent when taking pictures.

 

Israel

This DM notes:

1) That Israeli settlements in the West bank are illegal under international law and on this basis the UK could, under EU and World Trade Organisation law, unilaterally ban the trade that sustains them.

2) That since 2009, government departments have encouraged retailers to make sure they accurately label goods from the settlements. This has resulted in consumer pressure persuading most supermarkets to take settlement goods off their shelves.

3) That 170 organisations, including 14 trade unions, in Palestine, back the call for a boycott of goods from the settlements.

4) The TUC’s decision, first made in 2010 and reiterated since, “to actively encourage affiliates, employers and pension funds to disinvest from, and boycott the goods of, companies who profit from illegal settlements, the Occupation and the construction of the Wall”.

5) The TUC’s decision at its 2014 Congress, and following Israel’s devastating invasion of Gaza, to ‘step up its campaign for a free Palestine’.

6) The continuing arms trade by UK and EU-based companies, and collaboration with Israel’s military-industrial complex.  

 This DM resolves to instruct the NEC to:

1) Support the TUC’s call for a boycott of “the goods of companies who profit from illegal settlements, the Occupation and the construction of the Wall”.

2) Call on the UK government to end to all UK arms trading with Israel.

3) Work with the TUC in its efforts to campaign for a free Palestine.

 

Anti-austerity/Tory anti-union bill

This DM notes:

1) Jeremy Corbyn’s election victory is a welcome departure from the pro austerity or “austeritylite” policies of previous establishment politicians.

2) Corbyn has a democratic mandate to carry out the policies that he campaigned on.

3) Corbyn’s anti-austerity policies are ones that reflect the desires of millions of working people.

4) Attempts by the establishment and politicians both inside and outside of Labour to undermine Corbyn’s mandate are simply attempts to defend the policies of austerity, marketisation and war.

5) The magnificent victory by PCS members after 110 days of strike action at the National Gallery in London as an example of how solidarity means we can fight and win.

6) The government’s anti-union legislation imposing strict limits on balloting procedures, notices of industrial action and picketing operations.

This DM instructs the NEC to:

1) To congratulate the General Secretary in supporting the statement backing Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-austerity policies and his democratic mandate to lead Labour, and to endorse the statement on behalf of the national union.

2) To support and campaign for coordinated strike action across the NUJ and the trade union movement to defy and defeat the government's anti-union bill

3) To pledge support for NUJ members or any group of workers fighting austerity or attacks on pay or terms and conditions and to campaign for the maximum solidarity to be shown by union members.

 

European Union

This DM notes:

1) The forthcoming referendum to be held on whether the UK should continue to be a member of the European Union.

2) The use of the undemocratic institutions of the EU and Eurozone to force Greece to accept a third round of austerity, further deepening a depression in that country that is worse than the one experienced in the 1930s.

3) The EU is one of the richest regions in the world but many of its member states refuse to honour their obligations under international law with regards to refugees.

4) The wars fought by European powers and their proxies in the Middle East and Africa have created the refugee crisis.

5) Immigration laws merely serve to regulate flows and impose discriminatory laws on the people moving for reasons of poverty or war.

This DM believes:

1) Jacques Delors introduced the Social Chapter when he was president of the European Commission as part of the same neoliberal agenda that he had forced on the Mitterrand government in France, leading it to abandon its socialist economic policies in 1983.

2) The Single Market (which the Thatcher government played a pivotal role in bringing about), despite Delors’s promises of a ‘Social Europe’ in fact represents ‘a machine for the liberalisation of European capitalism’. 

3) European Monetary Union was the necessary corollary of the single market, further hard-wiring neoliberalism into the European project. 

4) British trade unions and the left in particular wrongly came to see the EU as a form of protection against Thatcherism. This was a reaction to the defeats suffered by the trade union movement in the 1980s. 

5) European integration – from the EEC to the EU – has failed to overcome national antagonisms; in fact it has sharpened them. The EU does not represent a transcendence of the nation state but is instead a mechanism for advancing the interests of Europe’s largest capitalist countries.

6) The EU is a dysfunctional would-be imperialist power that took the collapse of the eastern bloc as an opportunity for empire building, creating the tensions seen in Ukraine today.

7) Another Europe is possible – built on social solidarity. However, it requires first the breaking up the EU. 

8) The union should take up Guardian columnist Owen Jones’s call for ‘Lexit’ – ‘left support for withdrawal’. 

9) A left-wing campaign against the EU should be conducted from a perspective of supporting the free movement of labour and opening European borders to refugees and migrants. 

This DM resolves to instruct the NEC to:

1) Campaign for the UK to withdraw from the EU in the forthcoming referendum.

2) To ensure that, when campaigning against the EU, no union representative or body shall in any circumstances share a platform with Tories, UKIP or business organisations.

 

Nominations for DM-elected bodies

(closing date: 1pm Monday 23 November)

The branch can put forward nominees for the following DM-elected bodies

  • Standing Orders Committee (five to be elected)
  • TUC Delegation (three members to be elected in all)
  • Women’s TUC Delegaton (five to be elected)
  • NUJ Extra (five to be elected)
  • Professional Training Committee (six to be elected)
  • 60+ Committee/Pensioners’ Parliament (six to be elected)
  • Journalist Editorial Advisory Board (seven to be elected)
  • Health and Safety Committee (seven to be elected)
  • International Federation of Journalists Triennial Congress (four to be elected)
  • Equality Council (seven to be elected)
  • Disabled Members’ Council (seven to be elected)
  • Appeals Tribunal (nine to be elected)
 

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