Sunday, 17 March 2013
Serwotka "over-ruled" by Socialist Party in PCS dispute
On Wednesday next week the PCS union is due to have a one day strike to coincide with the budget. The dispute, overtly over Pensions, Pay and conditions of service has already been hijacked by the far-left Socialist Party organisation to promote a General Strike, not that any other unions have yet signed up.
It appears that not all is well at the top of PCS. Mark Serwotka had in fact asked the PCS National Executive Committee to endorse a half day strike to co-incide with the Chancellor, George Osbourne standing up to deliver his Budget speech. However despite including some support from the Deputy General Secretary, Hugh Lanning and surprisingly a SP member Chris Baugh, the Socialist Party/SWP dominated "Left Unity" group on the NEC were opposed to this and wanted a one-day strike.
The far-left had a surprisingly long "caucus" outside the NEC meeting but united around the demand for a one-day strike which carried the day. Mark Serwotka was apparently quite scathing in his response to the "one dayers" around the trotskyist left arguing that they (the leadership) had asked reps what they wanted (which turned out to be a half day strike) and were implementing a policy of a one-day strike which was precisely what reps didn't want.
Serwotka is apparently quite livid about the NEC decision as PCS has lost an opportunity to give reps the chance to influence events. One has to ask how many Reps will be angered and put off trying to contribute to the direction of the union when the controlling political groups on the NEC act in their own self interest.
It has been known for some considerable time that members of the Socialist Party and the SWP take their instructions from outside PCS as we saw when Sue Bond (PCS Vice-President was forced to sign a loyaly pledge to the SWP after voting with the NEC majority to accept the Pensions Offer made by the last Labour Government.
The loyalties of the Socialist Party and the Socialist Workers Party members are always to their respective Party leaderships first and they use their lickspittles around Left Unity to implement decisions that are based on their wider political perspectives than that of the PCS membership.
Consternation over the PCS leaderships plans for not only running, but holding this dispute in the first place are growing as correspondence I have received from around the country shows.
The time has come for PCS to be reclaimed for the members.
Further in-fighting on the PCS far-left
This is not the only area where squabbles are breaking out within the left who run PCS.
Jane Aitchisons attack on DWP Group President,Fran Heathcote's handling of the crisis over facility time for PCS conference is only just one.
For some reason Jane seems to think throwing her lot in with the SWP will help despite their ever growing list of scandals and fall outs is beyond belief. A further fight is pending over who becomes Deputy General Secretary next year when Hugh Lanning has finally retired.
A fight between Stella Dennis and the useless Paul O'Connor is expected within Left Unity, though with the removal of facility time for PCS President, one has to wonder whether Janice Godrich will throw her hat in to the ring. And then theres John McInally who as PCS VP will be in the boat as Janice.....
The situation is further complicated by the allies of Left Unity the so-called PCS Democrats (led by Ian Albert) trying to claim that DGS position is "theirs" by right which could lead to further conflicts within the ruling group of PCS.
With all that's going on one has to wonder how much of a union there will be left for these people to try and control.