Wednesday, 10 April 2013

PCS: You couldn't make it up!

PCS members logging in to read the latest issue of Socialist Worker on-line last night were in for a bit of a surprise. In a report of the recent half-day walkout by members the comrades reported that:

...PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka announced that union members at the Home Office will take part in five days of rolling strikes starting later this month. They were expected to join the strikes but bosses mounted a legal challenge using the anti-union laws.
In response the PCS union has gone on the offensive. The action in two weeks’ time.
With nothing of the sort appearing on the PCS main or group website, I made enquiries to a home Office rep who knew nothing but commented that "they must be barking mad" and informed me that an emergency teleconference was to take place on Thursday (11th April) for reps in the Home Office.

Further enquiries have revealed a very disturbing turn of events. One Rep told me that:

Farcical does not begin to describe the debacle in the Home Office. A five day action that takes out the area that delivers the sort of impact required (Border Force) is not included. The reps at the Officers meeting made it clear they were barking mad only to be told the General Secretary has announced this on TV and they had no choice.

That's democracy in action at PCS. 

Further the mystery of the failure to deliver the notification of industrial action on time has finally come to light:

All this because someone couldn’t spell the name of the Permanent Secretary or Employee Relations lead contact. The courier failed to deliver they claim. Apparently the courier took it upon himself to take the parcel home, thus failing to deliver in time for it to be legally valid.

Its quite clear that the Left Unity group in the Home Office are just as incapable of organising a dispute as their counterparts on the PCS National Executive Committee. Members will have an opportunity later this month to remove both Left Unity from control of the Home Office group and their counterparts on the NEC who masquerade behind the name of the Democratic Alliance.

If they can't even get the name right to deliver strike notification and then turn the rest of the dispute into a farce how on earth will they perform in a so-called "General Strike"?

Many more rational reps are telling me they feel stuck between a "rock and a hard place" as they say. A Government intent on unsavoury austerity measures and a union leadership that is not only tactically & strategically inept but is not organising the dispute for the benefit of the members, but to suit their own Socialist Party & SWP agenda.

Clearly this dispute has fallen flat on its' face. Serwotka & his chums have only themselves to blame.

Members deserve better.

Time for not only a long term rethink of where the union is going and how it should conduct itself, but time to change the leadership of the union as a matter of urgency!

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