Xmas Message from the General Secretary of Solidarity union, Pat Harrington

The motto of Leith, where I live, is Persevere. Our local coat of arms depicts a ship with that motto as Leith is and was the Port of Edinburgh and it’s fortunes were bound closely to the Sea and international trade. Both can witness misfortune and obstacles. In your own life you will have faced your own problems and setbacks. It’s the same with organisations. There are bound to be barriers and difficulties that block your path. To overcome these challenges and move forward we need perseverance. Perseverance is a skill that helps us stay motivated and helps us work towards our goals. Perseverance helps us make progress even when things get tough.

If we can work through hard times, it can open up new opportunities for us. The ability to persevere in difficult situations gives us a head start when we face problems and difficulties. Life isn’t easy, and there will always be times when things don’t go according to plan.

Perseverance boils down to the drive and resilience we display while completing an objective. Regardless of the challenges that emerge or the time it takes us to complete the task, we persist tirelessly and pursue our set goal(s). It’s an important quality in life as it allows us to stay in the game even though everyone else says it’s time to call it quits. Perseverance helps us achieve our life’s dreams, goals and vision.

Our union is prepared to spend years pursuing a case if need be. We don’t give up and we deal patiently with anything that is thrown at us. We stand by our members for however long it takes to get them to a better position.

Some cases are more straightforward and can be resolved fairly quickly. Our Reps are busy every day defending the rights of our members in disciplinaries, redundancy consultations and grievances. They are high-quality, committed people, who care and want to change things for the better. All of them deserve our gratitude and they certainly have mine and also my respect. We have won many settlements for our members in the past year but we currently have three active Employment Tribunal cases pending where settlement has not yet been agreed. These will be pursued to their conclusion.

This year we faced a regulatory threat to our very existence as a union. We dealt with it as a team and we overcame it. Not only that but we turned it to our advantage by studying the problem and looking for ways to turn it into a win. What seemed a huge problem we turned into a win – through perseverance.

We’ve also learned that we can’t rely on the mainstream media reporting our activities, or indeed being fair to us or any other union. That’s why we work hard to create our own media. It can be as simple as our weekly internal bulletin ‘British Worker’. Or it can be more ambitious as with our latest project Union News. Union News is a weekly podcast, made by our union. Currently it is available on Spotify, YouTube and Amazon music. In the new year I will lead the team behind it forward to improve the quality of the broadcasts and make it more widely available through other streaming platforms. It’s an important part of building our counter-media.

We may be a small union but we think big and we certainly punch above our weight. We are committed to reaching our goals. We are dedicated to completing whatever task lies in front of us. We continue steadfastly, especially in something that is difficult or tedious. That’s one thing which marks our union out from other organisations – we persevere!

Finally, on a personal note, may I say how honoured I was to be elected once more in 2022 as your General Secretary and wish you, even in these very hard times, a very Merry Christmas.


You can view the last episode of Union News on YouTube here Don’t forget to like and subscribe to Union News wherever you can!

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