Skills for Strength: UNISON North West activists meet to learn the organising lessons of union struggles from Los Angeles to Derby


The annual organising convention in Manchester on 11th March will feature speakers with a vast and diverse range of experiences in union organising from near and far.     

Among the speakers this year will be Jono Shaffer, who was the first organiser hired on the Los Angeles Justice for Janitors campaign in 1987 and was the person actor Adam Brody’s character is modelled on in the Ken Loach film Bread and Roses.  Another veteran of social unionism in the US and across Europe, Valery Alzaga, will be sharing her experience, and Hadeel Shatara – a women’s campaigner in the West Bank will be joining us by Skype to talk about organising workers in an extremely hostile environment. 

Activists from Derby will be welcomed to the convention to talk about their ongoing dispute as they resist cuts to their income of around 25%.  There will also be workshops on the mechanisation of work, combating racism, digital campaigning and much more.            

Kevin Lucas, Regional Manager for UNISON North West said:

“This is my favourite day of the year.  It’s wonderful to bring together 180-plus UNISON activists from across the North West to hear inspirational stories and develop the skills they need to effectively organise in their own workplaces.  The event is in its third year now and it gets bigger every year.  I think it’s key to giving us the knowledge and sense of purpose we all need to grow our union.  We are part of a great, powerful and international movement and Skills for Strength helps us keep sight of that.” 

The full programme for the event is available here.

Join UNISON Get involved in UNISON