Unions & politics

Rewriting history on Brexit

Published on: Wed, 29/01/2020 - 12:22
Author

Jim Denham

On 13 December, CWU general secretary Dave Ward was quoted in the front page lead story of the Morning Star as saying “Labour got it wrong on Brexit. Millions of people who know the economy, the world of work and politics in general isn’t working for them saw the move to a second referendum as a betrayal and final straw.”

Unite union general secretary Len McCluskey, in an article for Huffington Post, published on the same day stated “It is Labour’s slow-motion collapse into the arms of the People’s Vote movement and others who have never accepted the democratic decision of June 2016 for a

Tackling the union bureaucracies

Published on: Wed, 08/01/2020 - 11:22
Author

Bob Carnegie

Trade union organisation has always tended to centre in the better-off sections of the working class. But that tendency has been sharpened in the neoliberal era by increased inequality within the working class, and union organisation receding into more limited “bastions”.

In Australia — and in general — trade unions have been able to hold on to a degree in some strongholds, but in my working life, 45 years now, the influence of trade unions in society has markedly decreased.

Unions have become much more bureaucratic.

Most union leaders put the trends down to the anti-union laws which have been

Labour leadership: neither “LOTO continuity” nor “back to Blair”!

Published on: Wed, 18/12/2019 - 11:58
Author

Sacha Ismail

Labour Party general secretary Jennie Formby has written to the National Executive Committee proposing the process of electing a new leader and deputy leader should begin on 7 January and conclude by the end of March.

Under new rules agreed since the last leadership election, to get on the ballot paper candidates need nominations from 10% of MPs (21) plus either 5% of constituency parties (33) or 5% of affiliated organisations by conference voting strength, two of which must be trade unions.

Since the Parliamentary Labour Party is still much more right-wing than the party membership, that may

No backlash in PCS

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 15:44
Author

John Moloney

Our intervention in this election is unprecedented in the history of PCS. In previous elections, the union has run a neutral campaign called “make your vote count”.

Some in the union were worried that our stance would provoke a negative response from members, and maybe even resignations from people who wanted the union to remain strictly apolitical, but this hasn’t materialised.

The previous line proceeded from the premise that all parties were objectively the same, and our job was simply to provide members with information about their various policies, especially those affecting the civil

Building wider climate action for 29 November

Published on: Thu, 21/11/2019 - 00:14
Author

Misha Zubrowski

The next global youth climate strike is planned for Friday 29 November. In dozens of towns and cities across the UK, from hundreds of schools, and in hundreds of cities around the world, millions of school students and young people will be taking a stand against climate change.

It will be the first international climate strike since 20 September. There have been multiple strikes over the last year. On 20 September there was a call for workers to join students, and in several workplaces they did.

This was an important step towards the workplace environmental activism which we need. We need to

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

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