Solidarity is new Union (formed only in 2005). We take our name and some of our inspiration from the Polish Union that took on the corrupt State Socialist regime and won. We are different from many other Unions.
First, our focus is on the British Worker. This leads us to oppose the shallow internationalism of some Union leaders. We don't see off-shoring or mass migration of labour as being of benefit to workers in our country. It is certainly in the interest of big business to be able to move labour and capital without heed to national borders. That way they can keep wages down and set one set of workers against another. It certainly isn't in the interest of the ordinary worker here, however.
We want people here trained as apprentices or professionals to fill the vacancies. We don't support taking Doctors and Nurses from the poorest countries in the World that desperately need them. Nor do we support the exploitation of cheap; non-unionised labour from abroad including (but not limited to) jobs in agriculture and construction.
Not only do we want protection for our workers but also we want massive structural change to the way International Trade is conducted. We want to see prosperous and independent nation states trading with one another on an equitable basis.
Second, we are firmly opposed to unfair discrimination in employment. Not just for those from a different racial or religious background, or the disabled and aged, or those with a different sexuality. Of course we support workers who challenge this but our Union goes further. We don't believe anyone should be treated more harshly as a result of his or her political opinion. We regard this as part of what we term 'the new McCarthyism'. We are prepared to speak out on this controversial issue. We have supported members of the controversial British National Party threatened on account of their politics. We would do the same for Communists or Socialists. We still believe that democracy and basic rights are worth fighting for. This gets us a lot of flak but it is a matter of principle. We are a fighting Union that isn't afraid to go against the consensus if we think it is right.
Third, we advocate the re-Nationalisation of essential public services such as the Railway system and Royal Mail. Privatisation has failed and has been simply a means to give multinational companies a means to profit at our expense. Alongside re-Nationalisation we would like to see the banking and financial sectors re-structured so that their enormous resources were deployed to benefit the people. Far greater industrial democracy and a wider spread of ownership through Workers trusts, co-operatives, family businesses and self-employment are something we would support.
Fourth, we want our representatives to stay in touch with the ordinary worker and their concerns. We need to be prudent in the way we spend Union money and always seek the most cost-effective way of doing things. Our finances must be transparent and professionally audited. Not only because this is required by law but also because it is right. No one working for Solidarity will ever be paid more than the average UK workers wage.
Lastly, Solidarity has a different structure from many other Unions. We believe in 'One Big Union'. Our Union recruits from all industrial and professional sectors. Any worker can join our Union. We believe that this Unity across trades is a great strength. Often one of the Trade based Unions is played-off against another. It also means that our Reps don't generally work for the firms at which they attend for hearings or meeting on behalf of members. There is no threat or bribe that the company can offer them. They don't work there. This lessens the risk of collusion, which has infected many other Unions. We want all British Workers to join our Union (from all backgrounds). This is another reason why we don't apply to affiliate to the TUC. We actively poach members from existing Unions because we think we can offer them better! TUC rules forbid this. We aim to shake the established Unions up!
If you like what we stand for join! Together we are strong.