Oxford and Reading Trade Unions Stand in Solidarity with the Oxford Action for Palestine Encampment

The Oxford Action for Palestine (OA4P) encampment was started by members of the University of Oxford’s community on Monday 6th May. By this time, over 35,000 Palestinians of Gaza had been killed by Israel in the past seven months; all twelve universities in Gaza had been targeted and destroyed by Israel; an unprecedented number of journalists had been killed; Israel had systematically dismantled healthcare within Gaza; and two-thirds of all dwellings in Gaza had been destroyed. Meanwhile, Israel has placed a blockade on basic services and humanitarian assistance to Gaza. The ICJ determined in January that it is plausible that Israel’s actions amount to a genocide of the Palestinians of Gaza.

It has been reported that the University of Oxford is among the top five UK universities in receiving funds from arms-producing and military services companies, and that it has research collaborations with companies developing weapons and military technology.

On 1st May, the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) wrote to the University of Oxford and 81 other UK universities, alerting them of the potential risk of criminal liability over any investments held in both arms companies and Israeli settlements. Despite repeated calls, the University of Oxford has failed to disclose whether it has direct and/or indirect investments in companies that are complicit in the attack on Gaza, and has failed to acknowledge and condemn the systematic and complete destruction of higher education in Gaza, including the killing of over 5,000 students, 100 professors, and 3 principals.OA4P are demanding that the University of Oxford discloses its investments, and divests from arms companies as well as any other organisations that profit from Israeli apartheid, occupation, or genocide. OA4P are also calling for an institutional boycott of Israeli universities while genocide, apartheid, or occupation continue, and that the University of Oxford provides support for a Palestinian-led rebuilding of the twelve universities in Gaza destroyed by Israel.

These demands align with repeated calls from Palestinian trade unions to end all complicity and stop arming Israel. We support them and urge the University to take immediate actions to end any investment in, institutional relationships, or procurement contracts with companies and academic institutions funding and supplying weapons to the Israeli military or enabling Israel’s violations of international law through the crimes of occupation, apartheid or genocide. We are also concerned by the Prime Minister’s threatening language regarding these peaceful encampments, and condemn shallow political attempts to distract from the urgent onslaught taking place in Rafah – one that is being enabled by the UK government while most universities remain silent and complicit.

The trade union branches below extend our solidarity to OA4P, and call on their members to visit the encampment and support it in any way they can. Donations to the camp can be made by following the link at https://linktr.ee/oxact4pal.

Oxford and District Trades Union Council Reading Trades Union Council University of Oxford UCU

Oxford Brookes University UCU Oxford Brookes University UNISON Oxfordshire NEU

Unite the Union, Oxford County Health Branch Oxfordshire UNISON Health

TSSA North London (Network Rail) Reading RMT

Oxford City Council UNISON CWU South Central Postal Unite South East SE/605 PCS Bucks and Oxon

Down load a printable copy of this statement here

Local trade unionists join to mark May Day 2024

Come and join us for a day of activities to celebrate International Workers Day – this Saturday 4 May 2024

11.30 am: Assemble at International Brigades Memorial, South Park OX4. Demonstrators will assemble for a wreath-laying at the memorial to Oxfordshire people who served in the International Brigades in defence of the Spanish Republic in the 1930s.

12.15: March to Bonn Square

13.00: Rally at Bonn Square – speakers include Gawain Little, General Secretary of the General Federation of Trades Unions and a former President of ODTUC

14.00-16.30: Lunch and workshops, New Road Baptist Chapel, Bonn Square [provisional workshop schedule].

Workshop topics include: 

·      How local communities can fight for their water

·      Labour movement history: Oxford’s Socialist Chimney Sweep; Picket lines, Pints and Pit Camps! Solidarity with Maerdy Women in the 1984 Miners’ Strike; and The Miners’ Strike in Oxford 1984-5 

·      Our buses: Who should own them?

·      No migrant prison in Kidlington!  Stop Rwanda deportations!  

·      And there will be Radical Singing with the Didcot Red Kites group.

Organised by Oxford and District Trades Union Council

Contact: Pól Ó Ceallaigh 07867 935 694 secretary@odtuc.org.uk

or Bill MacKeith bmackeith@gmail.com 01865 558145

Protest the Government’s Visa Income Thresholds

Last year, the government announced drastic increases to the salaries required to qualify for several types of UK work visa. These will begin to take effect from April.

We need to stand against this.

We’ll meet in Manzil Way, Oxford, OX4 1YH at midday. We’ll then march to Bonn Square, OX1 1LQ, where there will be a rally with a few speakers.

Confirmed speakers so far include Mike Clancy, Prospect General Secretary.

Download the flier/poster

Protect the Right to Strike March and Rally

Oxford & District Trades Union Council has booked a coach from Oxford to Cheltenham for the TUC Protect the Right to Strike National March and Rally.

Seats are already going before we have publicly advertised our coach.

If you want to book a seat please email me with your name, mobile number, Trade Union (and Branch), and where you would like to board the coach.

Pick-up points are below with the What3words links to help find the exact pick-up places:

10.00 Bus stop outside the Saïd Business School on Frideswide Square
10:15 London Bus stop on St Clements
10:25 Headington Shops

In solidarity,

Pól Ó Ceallaigh,
Secretary, Oxford & District Trades Union Council

May Day events – 2023

Join us to celebrate International Workers Day on Monday 1 May.

March, speakers, workshops and other events – click on the image to download the flier.

  • Workshops (14:30 to 17:00) – topics:
    • Build solidarity with striking workers
    • Climate justice – trade unions for a just transition
    • Migrant rights – join the fight to keep Campsfield closed
    • Our NHS – lessons from the 1930s healthcare in Oxfordshire
    • Community organising – people power (the sky’s the limit)
    • Strikes and occupations in Oxfordshire in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! March Together — Strike Together

We are facing the worst cost of living crisis in generations. Inflation is at a 40 year high, and the government’s own forecaster predicts an average fall of 7% in household income over the next two years. Many will lose much more than 7%.

Click for the full flier as a PDF

But there has been incredible resistance to the employers’ offensive. In the last few months hundreds of thousands of workers have taken strike action, shutting down postal, rail and border services, and raising the alarm about the crisis in the NHS. More workers are likely to join the strike wave in the coming months. The fact that employers and the government are coordinating their action means our side has to do the same. There have been amazing examples of solidarity between unions, but this needs to be built
into a force that can stop the attacks.

Join us on January 22nd to demand we march together and strike together to build a movement that can win.

Oxfordshire Solidarity Rally with Striking Workers

20 July 2022, 19:00-20:30

Rose Hill Community Centre, Carole’s Way, Oxford OX4 4HF

3 Bus from Westgate Stop (Norfolk Street) & High Street

  • The people who were key-workers last year are now being offered below-inflation pay offers – or no pay rises at all!
  • The railway workers, postal workers, university staff, barristers and others are leading the way. It is time all workers got a decent pay rise.
  • Industrial action is the workers’ last line of defense.

Speakers to include:
Manuel Cortes: TSSA General Secretary
Brendan Kelly: RMT Regional Organiser (South Wales & West)

Download the flyer and the poster for this event.

“We demand better” March and Rally on June 18

Working people have had enough. Everything is going up but our wages.  Ministers partied while people died. Now they do nothing while living standards plummet and P&O lays off hundreds of workers on the spot.

It is time for a new deal for working people. We need help with energy bills and a real pay rise for every worker. Let’s take matters into our own hands – and get out on the streets.

On 18 June, in London, let’s tell this government: we DEMAND better.

Booking form for Oxfordshire coaches to TUC “We demand better”  March and Rally on June 18

We demand…
– A real pay rise for every worker – and a real living wage for all
– Respect and security for all workers – ban zero hours contracts, ban fire and rehire, decent sick pay now
– End racism at work
– Tax energy profits to pay our bills
– Raise universal credit
– Boost union bargaining rights now
– And more than that: we demand a government that listens and acts to support working people.

Join us in London on 18 June.  Please fill in form below to book your seat(s) on the coach.  Coach seats are free to members and family of supporting unions, and we hope to provide them free to non-union members too depending on demand.  However, if demand is very high we may have to make a small charge.  This will not be more than £5.
Bring your banners, your placards and signs. Bring your workmates, your family and friends.  Invite local community organisations, foodbanks and allies.  Let’s make some noise, get out on the streets and start the push back: WE DEMAND BETTER.

Called by the TUC, supported by major national unions. Local mobilisation supported by Oxford & District Trades Union Council, Oxfordshire UNISON Health branch and more …