Saturday, 23 May 2015
PCS: Not a union for it's members
The aftermath of PCS Conference continues to astonish observers as the union digs it's own grave deeper after years of political and financial mismanagement leaving the union both isolated and broke. The end of check off has seen thousands of members just give up on PCS and either start looking for alternatives or worse leave trade unions behind.
Even putting aside the sectarian stance taken by the Serwotka/Socialist Party leadership towards the Labour Party and failing badly to gain attention with some misnamed Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition, it seems the comrades are more concerned about their being seen as defenders of the faith rather than act as trade unionists.
One of the more controversial government policies has been the "sanctions" placed on job seekers by the DWP. Now the union has every right to lobby and argue a case about such matters with the employer but in the case of PCS the political activist caste has placed its extra-curricula interests above defending ordinary members.
The Morning Star reports
Jobcentre workers in Sheffield put a motion to PCS conference suggesting that protests in Halifax, west Yorkshire, had been “hijacked by a minority of individuals keen to cause unrest and accuse jobcentre staff of deliberately using the sanctions system to persecute benefit claimants.”
The motion asked for PCS to withdraw an anti-sanctions leaflet jointly produced with the Community division of general union Unite, which organises unemployed workers. It demanded that the PCS logo not be used on any future materials to be distributed at such demonstrations.
Sheffield delegate Ian Davis told delegates: “We cannot be seen to condone protests outside our offices where members face intimidation.
“We’ve had resignations among long standing members, an impact on direct debit campaign which we cannot afford.”
He said PCS members were online and subjected to “extreme verbal abuse.”
At one protest, PCS members offering support felt “so intimidated they had to leave,” he said.
Sheffield wasn't the only place where members were incensed about being lobbied by protesters using PCS sponsored literature. Copies of a leaflet with the logo were circulated around the office I work in and members were not happy. This coming just before check off ended helps explain the high level of disillusionment that people felt about the union.
Given all the antics undertaken by the far-left leadership over the years spending huge amounts of time and members subscriptions on overtly political campaigning from promoting the TUSC/Respect (through the so-called Make Your Vote Count Campaign) to the Stop the War Coalition that proved nothing of the sort, along with defending Cuban dictatorship, sending delegations to meet Hamas terrorists the interests of the members became very secondary.
No wonder many of us took the plunge and went elsewhere. In my case Prospect, a whole department broke away to form the NCOA and more recently the RCTU was established by disgruntled HMRC members.
Of course in some departments or parts of the country such as Northern Ireland there is no readily available alternative so PCS has retained a certain level of membership but even that has been placed under threat by the recognition of Unison.
The "comrades" are not happy and Mark Serwotka is to make an official complaint to the TUC. But the days where members did not have a choice and were virtually held hostage by some unions are long gone.
In the past many members asked about an alternative to PCS. Now many of these people are leaving.
PCS has failed as a trade union and although there remain many decent reps and activists in it's ranks the union is now well beyond reform.
You have choices:
RCTU: https://rctunion.org.uk/ (HMRC)
Join a proper trade union today!