Our president Janice Godrich proposed the motion on behalf of the national executive. She said it was the "most important issue this union has faced," as we seek to"stem the tide of the cuts" and "organise in a radical way across the public sector".
However the debate did not go the way the Grandees intended despite more speakers for the motion than against. Even the intervention of John McInally's gopher in the West Country, Richard Capps did not sway the assembled delegates as he raged:
Actually they sold the "soul" of PCS to the Socialist Party a long time ago, but even so the urge to shout yes must have been at forefront of many delegates as even branches normally loyal to the leadership from their stronghold in the DWP Group ended up voting against.
The vote was overwhelmingly defeated on a show of hands but the Chair insisted on a "card vote" which delayed conference by 30 minutes to no avail as the leadership still lost the vote:
The Face Book Group No to PCS-Unite merger commented:
Therein lies the problem. A motion did get passed which authorised talks for a merger but only if certain pre-conditions are met.
So its far from over. The card vote will allow the leadership to identify the opposition (as these votes are recorded on a branch by branch basis) allowing the PCS Grandees to see where they need to make an effort in pursuit of the demise of PCS.
What Len McCluskey will make of this is not known, but the inability of of new found friends to deliver will probably not impress.