Saturday, 5 July 2014

Unite leaves PCS standing at the altar

Not normally being a reader of the dreadful old fashioned Communist, Morning Star  I nearly missed an important announcement from Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite:

UNITE general secretary Len McCluskey poured cold water on plans yesterday to build a super-union with civil servants’ union PCS.

Union leaders have been in talks about PCS joining Unite — in plans that Mr McCluskey explained would be a transfer of undertakings rather than a merger.

But he revealed: “There’ll be no further progress with PCS going into the future.”

Hinting at the reasons for the breakdown, he told delegates “our rules don’t change, our structures don’t change” in any transfer of undertakings.

His comment comes after PCS members insisted they would not throw their lot in with Unite if their subs contributed to Labour Party coffers.

A motion passed at PCS conference in May made a separate political fund for civil servants within Unite.

This was brought to my attention by Madame Janice Godrich, President of the PCS union on the members only Face Book page last night with the comment "disappointed I had to hear this from the Morning Star". 

Yes it does seem a teeny bit contemptuous if that is the case.

The Socialist Party (of which Janice is a leading cadre) have been pushing for a merger (which actually in practise turned out to be a takeover) with Unite for some time. A delegation of Unite dignitaries was present in the conference hall when delegates rejected the Grandees plans and insisted on asking for terms that everyone knew Unite would reject.

According to Dave Vincent (a maverick left-winger) in a letter to the Weekly Worker said delegation stormed out. Whether that's accurate or not certainly would seem to have had a ring of truth to it if Godrich is right and this announcement did indeed come out the blue. Unite obviously isn't prepared to mess about with PCS. They had expected this to be a done deal and in place by September 2015.

No more it would seem. 

One left-wing opponent of the Socialist Party, Bev Laidlaw commented that she had heard this four weeks ago and was told the PCS leadership had been informed. She queried who she should believe?

Who knows?

The PCS NEC had recently met to move forward with the planned Special Conference to discuss the merger originally planned for September if I recall correctly.

Lets hope the money saved from this pointless exercise that nobody wanted except the Socialist Party for their own sectarian interests is used for better purposes.

If there's one thing about Len McCluskey that is certain, he doesn't like to be messed around and no doubt the observers he sent to the PCS Conference would have reported what a shower the far-left political activists in the union are.

And how anti-Labour.

The return of a Labour Government has to be the priority for Labour affiliated trade unions. Hopefully Len has now realised how deluded the PCS leadership is. He certainly knows it can't deliver. So as the Morning Star concludes in its' report:

Mr McCluskey added that talks with rail union TSSA also fell down earlier this year “because we couldn’t reach an agreement about financial issues.”

But he told members to be proud as a number of unions are joining Unite because it represented “the vanguard of the movement.”

Meanwhile PCS flounders.

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