Friday, 24 October 2014

PCS: A union in terminal decline?

Earlier this year the Socialist Party and it's allies in the PCS union attempted to arrange a "shotgun wedding" to merge the union with Unite. There was much speculation as to whether this was to do with the state of PCS finances. Chris Baugh the Assistant General Secretary assured concerned reps and members that was not the case.

The merger did not go ahead after the National Executive motion was knocked back by conference and the Unite delegation left (some say stormed) out of the observers gallery. Certainly the route to shoring up the ever failing fortunes of PCS by being subsumed into Unite is on a back burner and certainly not on Unites list of current priorities given there will be a general election next year and they are more concerned with getting a Labour Government elected.

However something remains seriously wrong in PCS as the news was broken by the satirical PFLCPSA website that the union is considering another option that of selling off it's purpose built headquarters building in Falcon Road, Clapham Junction:

Well, we could sell Falconcrest to be turned into luxury flats, but that would involve enormous amounts of pre-planning, getting reports done, having architects draw up plans, consulting not just PCS members, but GMB members who work there. Nah, too much effort.

Although, we could sneak off and get that all done in August while everyone is on their hols and not bother to tell anyone, and then sneak in a a full scale planning application to the Local Council, also without telling anyone, because we wouldn't want anyone to find out until the time to register comments has expired.

And so it came to pass. The expiry date for comments was 02/10/14. Falconcrest is destined to become 65 luxury flats, subject to planning approval. Tory run Wandsworth will just lurve having a new bunch of yuppies to vote for them. Any affordable housing? Hahahahaha! What do you think we are, socialists or something?

All done in secret it would seem since none of the reps or members were informed of this possibility and yet when interviewed by The Socialist newspaper recently, Mark Serwotka the "Dear Leader" of PCS said:

I would say the union is unrecognisable from the one that existed when I became general secretary.

It's now a union that respects its activists as its lifeblood rather than an inconvenience. It has democratised massively in terms of electing its senior full time officers, of giving much more power to the groups, the branches and the regions, where decisions can be made at a level nearer the grassroots.

It is certainly true that PCS is unrecognisable from when Serwotka and his henchmen took over. PCS has changed from being a union that represents its members to one that represents only it's (far left) political activists. Most of the latter part of his statement about "grassroots" power is just hype.

PCS has become a very centralised, authoritarian union.

Serwotka also inherited a financially stable union that didn't need to look to merge with other unions or sell off the "family silver".

Members would be right to ask what is going on in PCS. 

Is there something we are not being told? After all the man who controls the purse strings, the rather useless Mr Baugh is a member of the Socialist Party which older readers will recall was formerley the Militant Tendency.

And Militant buggered up the finances of Liverpool Council.  So much so they had to send out taxis to issue redundancy notices to their staff. Hence Neil Kinnocks famous speech.

Oh and they helped make Labour unelectable hence the years of Thatcherism we ended up having to endure.

They still don't want a Labour Government by the way. PCS has a policy to "stand and support" candidates that will eventually lead to the union backing the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition which gets next to no votes.

PCS has become divorced from the political mainstream and far weaker than ever thanks to the actions of Serwoka and his far-left allies.

Members need a union, but it seems to me PCS is no longer up to the task.

The question is what happens next?

By the way for anyone that's interested Serwotka got re-elected unopposed this week. Hardly worth mentioning.

Will the last person out of Falcon road please turn the lights out.

1 comment:

  1. He also said 'And it's a union that when I took over hadn't had a national strike in a generation. We have now had numerous national strikes and group disputes' and where exactly has thatt got us? Nowhere. Being a socialist is fine if you have sufficient income to protect you from the consequences of your actons.. No doubt our comrades will be fixing it so that they can all buy a property on the cheap to sell at a huge profit later on.