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25/02/2009 - AGM 2009

The Third Annual Conference of Solidarity: the autonomous British Workers' Union took place in Durham on February 21st 2009. Delegates were welcomed by the President, Adam Walker.

The General Secretary, Patrick Harrington, gave an encouraging report of continued growth in the past year. Membership had increased from 211 at the last AGM to 436 members today. The union has had a number of successes in representing members in dispute with their employers. In the coming year the union intends to train up more regional representatives to cope with the increased demand. Members know that the union is working for their interests and that the propaganda line churned out by Searchlight and misnamed 'anti-fascists' that Solidarity is a fake 'do-nothing' union is far from the truth. Members who have been helped by the union only have to imagine what would have happened to them if Solidarity wasn't there for them. They would have been unrepresented or worse, 'represented' by a disinterested union or one that hates them and their politics.

Solidarity has built up a considerable caseload which will in due course stand it in good stead when the union applies to the Certification Office for a Certificate of Independence. We were caught on the hop by the recent wildcat strikes but had quickly began to network and respond. These disaffected trade unionists have been let down by the TUC affiliates who are embarrassed by the strikers' demand for British jobs for British Workers. These sentiments are more in tune with Solidarity's consistent position than with Unite – compromised as it is by its links with and financial support for NuLab and Gordon Brown.

Two motions came up for discussion. One advocated the abolition of the six-monthly subscription for members. The second proposed setting up three regional teams to promote the union at demonstrations up and down the country in support of the aims of disaffected British workers. Both resolutions were passed. There was also a long discussion and debate regarding the wave of 'Wildcat' strikes and the attitude and position of our Union brotherhood towards them.

The President, Adam Walker closed the meeting with a rousing forward-looking call to members to do all to promote the union. He reminded them that individuals can be picked off one by one by the bosses. Solidarity offers collective strength and insurance to those brothers and sisters who join us. 'Talk to your friends and workmates and sign them up', he urged 'for together we are strong'!