Labour Leadership election – thousand denied a vote but…

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-34060453

The BBC has the story – see link above

Well PCS is my trade union, the one I worked for over many years and via its previous names as well.

I had to scratch my head a bit about Mark Serwatka though as thought he was a socialist who would not have anything to do with the (Red Tory) Labour Party. Surely he can’t be surprised that someone as high profile as him has been smoked out by Labour’s panicked election organisers?

I am begging to wonder though about Mark Serwatka’s judgement as I had a run-in with him over his, in my view, poorly thought out response to a promise of a pay rise for me and my fellow Civil Service workers during the last election. This previous posting refers:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/04/23/pcs-trade-union-is-my-union-leader-all-but-rejecting-a-pay-rise-for-me/

Bob Crow – Doing the trade union movement a favour?

www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/feb/07/bob-crow-interview-nothing-to-defend

The Guardian has the story surrounding this hugely controversial trade union Barron and his recent troubles.

As a long-time trade unionist who worked for PCS Trade Union for many years as a lay official I think I understand what true socialists are all about but I must say Mr Crow makes me scratch my head.

Yes he lives in a house that belongs to a social landlord so that fits with his beliefs, I assume, about common ownership of property. But he earns an arm and a leg as a trade union leader which puts him in an income category that his embers can only dream of. Yes, but hang on, surely a socialist, representing the working classes, should not be earning such huge wages – £145,000 (according to the Guardian newspaper)? How can you truly represent the interests of the workers if you can afford a lifestyle very different from theirs?

PCS and UNITE to merge?

As a PCS member and former Branch Secretary of some 22 years service, this question both concerns and interests me and it features in Private Eye edition 1344.

The Eye seems to think that the trade union barons in both of these huge unions will want to merge to create more political muscle and that this could well be outside of shovelling more money into the Labour Party.

PCS has helped sponsor trade union candidates for UK elections and did so at the recent Eastleigh Parliamentary by-election. Clearly, it was PCS (and other unions) waving two fingers at Labour; trouble is their candidate got so few votes (62 in fact which was 0.15% of the votes cast) the move was pointless and merely cost PCS members and others a few bob in a lost deposit and other election costs.

PCS and indeed its predecessor unions were all basically been non-politically aligned i.e. their members being mostly public servants have not paid a political levy to the Labour Party. Personally, I have always thought that stance correct as public servants have to serve the Government of the day no matter who they are and to do so whilst paying a party political levy would hardly make public servants look impartial.

But UNITE is presently Labour’s biggest financial supporter (and problem?) and its members are affiliated to Labour. So how can two unions merge that are fundamentally split on supporting Labour? UNITE backs Labour and PCS backs trade union candidates who stand against Labour!

PCS is certainly playing down the merger and simply talking about forms of co-operation with UNITE.

An odd situation all together but I think PCS would be well advised to stop wasting PCS member’s money in local or Parliamentary elections. But underneath this process the real problem is the inability of the trade union movement to effectively find a way forward during our present economic down-turn.