The continuing financial and political crisis inside the main civil service union PCS continues unabated as one of it's main leaders John McInally (Vice President & Socialist Party member launches into an astonishingly sectarian tirade against both other unions and internal critics today:
While recognising debate between unions, sometimes sharp, is a vital part of the democratic life of our movement, reflective of the serious nature of the struggle in which we are involved and which arises from differing perspectives, PCS is nevertheless entitled to demand solidarity and unity from the rest of the trade union movement in the face of this attack. Sadly however, disturbing evidence is emerging that Maude has the tacit support of some union leaders in his attempts to isolate our union.
McInally starts with having a go at Unison for having the temerity to accept negotiating rights in the civil service without "asking permission from the other unions", by which he actually means PCS. None of the others seem to be concerned.
Later in his faux rage McInally complains about an article in Civil Service World:
More worryingly, union leaders from Prospect and the FDA lined up with one of the 'leaders' of the state-supported HMRC staff association RCTU, scandalously portrayed as a legitimate union, to repeat the lies that PCS does not negotiate, is purely politically motivated and that by fighting to defend its members against cuts and privatisation has brought the attacks upon itself.
This would be the PCS that amongst other things demanded and got the closure of the Council of Civil Service Unions (COCSU) back in 2011 because the Socialist Party led union expected the other unions to do it's bidding because PCS was the largest union and didn't like the other unions disagreeing with their policies no matter how insane.
This would also be the same PCS that bought the "Sword of Damocles" down on trade unionism in the civil service when they attempted to organise a strike the day before the Olympics started on the basis of the support of 11%, that's right just 11% of the members in the Border agency.
The other unions were furious with Mark Serwotka and rightly so.
To say PCS has inflicted damage on itself is an understatement. The Socialist Party led union has also damaged the other unions which still reverberates today.
As for breakaway union, why do they never mention the mass departure of PCS members in the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA)? Back in 2013 SOCA was subsumed into the police force and as a result lost the right to strike. The PCS reps in SOCA negotiated a very good compensation package which was summarily rejected on the order of Mark Serwotka and the reps suspended.
The result? Nearly the entire PCS membership in SOCA broke away and formed their own and very successful union. The National Crime Officers Association (NCOA).
McInally now turns his attention against dissident (and expelled) members in the HMRC who are busily setting up a new union to get away from the mad antics of the likes of Militant fanatics who control the PCS union. The notion they are a "state controlled union" is an absurd notion. A fantasy peddled by the far-left in PCS to try and discredit their former opponents.
McInally also takes time to attack his opponents to the left inside the union. He rants:
But even during the hardest battle, opportunism from some people is never far below the surface - the decision is under attack from the sectarian left within the union itself. The reaction of some in the so-called Independent Left, controlled by the Alliance for Workers Liberty, has been shameless.
Rather than unite to face this attack they have used the issue of suspending the elections as an opportunity to attack the leadership in an attempt to turn the union into a battleground for their own political advantage.
Demanding accountability for the leaderships actions in selling off the unions property, cutting staff jobs and membership services through democratic elections is sectarian?
McInally continues his fallacious argument:
It is a feature of left sectarians that when big class battles are in progress they are simply incapable of rising to the task. The role of some on the left during the great miners' strike of the 1980s is brought to mind, who echoed the ruling class and right-wing union demand for a ballot to be held in the midst of that battle.
The Socialist Party is not and has never been interested in democracy. Only control.
That's the whole history of the followers of Lenin & Trotsky which the Socialist Party proudly proclaim they are part of.
How did Russia turn out exactly comrades?
No wonder so many of us finally gave up on the PCS union. It's a bloody mess and the leadership have no one else to blame but themselves.
The current and continuing demise of PCS through the actions of the Socialist Party and their allies is a salutary lesson in how political activists destroy trade unions by trying to use them for their own political gain.
PCS members would be better served by joining other unions.