By Mark Lyon Unite is very much an international union with a track record to be proud of.  Our work with solidarity organisations in Colombia, Cuba, Palestine, Mexico and many others is dear to our members and our actions make a real difference politi …

Walton Pantland

By Mark Lyon

Unite is very much an international union with a track record to be proud of.  Our work with solidarity organisations in Colombia, Cuba, Palestine, Mexico and many others is dear to our members and our actions make a real difference politically and in every social respect.

When USI was proposed  there were, quite naturally, questions around the campaigning ground such an organisation could occupy and concerns that existing international focus could be in some way diverted or lost.  I believe the USI can compliment, amplify and provide new dimensions to our international work.

The social media dimension to USI can help to strengthen campaigns and move quickly within the new reality of fast developing communication mediums.  It is my hope that Unite along with sister unions, individual activists and solidarity groups will view USI as an opportunity to create structured campaigning methods and links with the ability to creatively shuttle views and information among the international union community.

The success of USI and the ability to make a difference will be largely reliant on active participation and the energy of its participants.  Positive results will only be achieved if there is a vibrant and continuous debate through all the channels and forums the organisation will provide.

One important aspect of USI can be consciousness of the industrial agenda while considering supportive international campaigning. This direction is aligned with the agenda of Unite as we contemplate the ongoing damage of neoliberal and failed political thinking across the globe.  USI can provide a platform and a new campaigning relevance to working people in all countries and I welcome the project as a complementary measure to the international work we do currently and to the work of our important solidarity group partners.

– Mark Lyon is Chair of the Unite International Committee


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Walton Pantland

South African trade unionist living in Glasgow. Loves whisky, wine, running and the great outdoors. Walton did an MA in Industrial Relations at Ruskin, Oxford, and is interested in how trade unions use new technology to organise.

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