Solidarity - The Union for British Workers is a United Kingdom trade union formed in late 2005.
A Nationalist Union
Membership is open to people of all ethnic, religious and political backgrounds. Solidarity rejects the internationalism of existing trade unions,and is a nationalist union with the protection of British workers' interests as the core of its agenda.
"One big union"
Solidarity recruits from all industrial sectors and professions. We have members in the health service, education, railways, construction to give just a few examples. We believe in ‘One Big Union’.
The idea is not new. In 1834 Robert Owen formed the Grand National Consolidated Trades Union in an attempt to unite all the workers into one Union. Initiatives for One Big Union have occurred across the world. Most notable was the attempt of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies) to organise One Big Union in the United States, Canada, and Australia and the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) in Spain. We have no particular ideological affinity with either group, nor are we affiliated, but like them we see the sense of organising across trades and professions.
Solidarity has stated that it has no plans to apply for affiliation to the TUC and will not be bound, therefore, by agreements not to poach members from other unions. Solidarity allows dual membership with other Unions (but not for officials of Solidarity).
Our General Secretary
Pat Harrington is the General Secretary of Solidarity. He became interested in the Union after clashing politically with the leadership of the RMT and being expelled on pre-textual charges. He is the director of the Third Way think-tank.
Patrick says: "Solidarity represents a new voice for British workers. My belief in both social justice and nationalism fits perfectly with the aims of our Union."
Early years and education
Pat Harrington was born in Kennington and his secondary education was at Pimlico Comprehensive and Archbishop Tenison's Grammar School. His Higher and Further Education was at Westminster College (1980-1982), Polytechnic of North London (1982-1985), Edinburgh's Telford College (1994-1995), West London Technology Centre (1993), Kensington & Chelsea College (1992-1993), College of the Distributive Trades (1991-1993) and the University of Greenwich (1997-1999).
Pat Harrington's published works include:
The Third Way - An Answer to Blair (ISBN 0-9535077-0-X)
The Third Way Manifesto 1997 (ISBN)
The Third Way Manifesto 2001 (with Cliff Morrison) (ISBN 0-9535077-9-3)
The Third Way Manifesto 2005 (editor) (ISBN 0-9544788-4-3)
Catholic Social Teaching (with Anthony Cooney and John Medaille) (ISBN 0-9535077-6-9)
Tolkien and Politics (with Anthony Cooney and David Kerr) (ISBN 0-9544788-2-7)
Taking Liberties - A Third Way Special on Attacks on Civil Liberties in the UK (with Nick Griffin, Graham Williamson, Tim Bragg and David Kerr) (ISBN 0-9544788-5-1)
Counter Culture Anthology (Edited by Tim Bragg with many essays by Harrington)(ISBN 1-84728-118-4)
Solidarity takes its name from the Polish trades union, Solidarnosc, which was created in the shipyards of Gdansk in 1980 by shipyard workers in response to the tyrannical regime of the Communists who had been in power since Soviet forces took over in 1945.They were a cry of liberation from the depths of the Polish working classes who had been oppressed, terrorised, shot, beaten, and bullied by the faceless bureaucratic communists who pretended to be the representatives of the Polish proletariat.
Solidarnosc became the collective body of dissidents of all those, workers, students, intellectuals, who were alienated from the Communist regime, who were starving or hungry because of the chaotic and inefficient Communist economic system, who lived in squalor because of the class inequality between the tiny Communist elite, who had access to adequate housing, and the rest who were united in the squalor of equality of inopportunity. They were united by a common desire to be able to speak freely without fear of arrest or victimisation. Freedom became its watchword, liberty its song, and the mass of Polish workers united in defiance of the repressive and ugly monstrosity of Communist government.
Solidarnosc may have been repressed by brute force by the Polish authorities and the military forces of the Soviet Union who had become fearful of "people power" and the effect it could have on its own desperate citizens, but the flame of freedom lived on and kept burning until Eastern Europe was gradually liberated from the yoke of Communist tyranny in the wake of the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.