Unions & politics

Not just a Labour vote

Published on: Wed, 06/11/2019 - 07:34
Author

John Moloney, PCS Assistant General Secretary (in a personal capacity)

PCS members at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will strike again on 7, 8, 11, and 12 November. These are members working in facilities management, employed by outsourced contractor Interserve.

We want Interserve to meet certain demands, including recognising the union; guaranteeing company sick pay; and reversing cuts in hours, but ultimately we want these workers to be employed directly on the same terms and conditions as all other civil servants.

We are also working closely with the United Voices of the World union, which has members in the Ministry of Justice and Royal Parks, which are

Official report damns fracking

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 11:00
Author

Misha Zubrowski

On 23 October, the National Audit Office (NAO) has released a damning report into the future of fracking in the UK, showing that even in the terms it has been justified by, it will fall short.

NAO is an independent Parliamentary body which scrutinises spending and policy of other government departments and bodies.

Fracking, short for Hydraulic Fracturing, refers to particular methods of extracting natural gas.

High pressure fracking fluid — a mixture of chemicals dissolved in water — is pumped through a well and into rock to fracture it. This is generally done to shale, and it creates and

The left and the climate movement

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 10:04
Author

Misha Zubrowski

This article is a second excerpt from a document on climate change to be discussed by the forthcoming Workers’ Liberty conference.

On paper, almost all trade unions recognise climate change as a grave danger, and demand state action to combat it, with workers having a role in “a just transition”.

For the most part, the policies are close to those of the “One Million Climate Jobs” (OMCJ) project of the “Campaign Against Climate Change” (CACC), from about a decade ago.

CACC often functions to “outsource” climate activism from the labour movement itself.

Some unions, and the TUC, have policy

Lessons from the seventies

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 09:04
Author

Pete Boggs

When Avon jet engines being refurbished for use by the Chilean air force came into the workshop at the Rolls Royce factory in East Kilbride, Scotland, from 1974, workers there decided to refuse work on them.

The Chile solidarity movement in Britain celebrated this action as exemplary, and it is the subject of the 2018 documentary Nae Pasaran. Eventually, due to downwards pressure, not only from their bosses, but also the Labour government and the trade union bureaucracy, the workers were forced to end the boycott. But even then they loosely fitted together the bolts in the engines loosely, and

Pay claim for Brexit work

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 08:45
Author

John Moloney, PCS Assistant General Secretary (in a personal capacity)

The ongoing chaos around Brexit is having many detrimental impacts on PCS members’ working lives.

In Stratford DWP, hundreds of workers have been temporarily reallocated to Brexit-related work on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra). Members have said they want to ballot over this.

The concern is that DWP is looking to move work outside of London, where they don’t have to pay London weighting, so workers are worried that they might not get their DWP work back after the Defra project is finished.

The union will be submitting a pay claim to the government

Discontent grows over selections

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 10:28
Author

Chris Reynolds

Discontent is growing in local Labour Parties over “long lists” and shortlists of candidates imposed by the National Executive Committee for the selections of candidates to the general election almost certain to come soon.

The Campaign for Labour Party Democracy is circulating a model motion which calls: “We call on the NEC to revise the long-listing process to ensure that all those with support in a CLP are included ahead of those totally unknown to that CLP”.

A particular focus in Vauxhall, where the Labour MP Kate Hoey has consistently voted with the Tories on Brexit and anyway has said she

Turkey: the poverty of “anti-imperialism”

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 10:48
Author

Jim Denham

In a letter to prime minister Boris Johnson leading figures from 13 UK unions have urged the UK government to condemn outright the Turkish aggression against the Kurds, triggered by Trump’s precipitate decision to withdraw all US troops from Syria.

They describe Trump’s move as “a green-light to a Turkish military invasion of North and East Syria, which, as we have already seen in Afrin, will undoubtedly lead to ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Kurds as well as a resurgence of ISIS.

“We therefore call on the UK government to immediately condemn Turkey’s threats of invasion and to work with

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