Saturday, 3 October 2015
Tories to launch trade union faction
Given that the Tories have been on an offencive to virtually emasculate the trade union movement in this country, it comes as somewhat of a surprise that they have decided to launch their own "trade union organisation" to organise "moderates unhappy with their union's leaders.
This is due for launch during the Conservative Party conference next week which will also be the target of a lot of trade union supporters demonstrating outside their annual bash. There is or should I say will be a website for this group but at the time of writing it was blank (http://www.toryworkers.co.uk/) but I'm sure this will change.
The Independent reports:
Robert Halfon, the Conservatives’ deputy chairman, said his party was now “the party of working people” and that “militant” union leaders were putting workers’ off existing structures.
“We want to provide a voice for Conservative-minded trade unionists and moderate trade unionists and this week we will announcing a new organisation in the Conservative party called the Conservative Workers and Trade Unionists movement and that is going to be a voice for Conservative trade unionists,” he said in an interview with parliament’s The House magazine.
“We are recreating the Conservative trade union workers’ movement. There will be a new website and people will be able to join. There will be a voice for moderate trade unionists who feel they may have sympathy with the Conservatives or even just feel that they’re not being represented by militant trade union leaders.”
Problem for anyone joining such an outfit is that the Tories both have and will to continue the ability of trade unionists, moderate or otherwise to represent their members. Attacks are not just on the unions ability to strike but also the facility time that reps use to actually represent individual members with management in the workplace.
Not exactly an attractive proposition.
There are indeed many, if not a vast majority of trade unionists who could be described as "moderates", but they are mostly not well disposed to the Conservative party particularly in the hard pressed public sector where wages and conditions have been worsening over the last few years.
With the Labour Party in disarray as the Corbynistas take over the return to uber-militancy by unions such as Unite or PCS may lead to the decline of unions taking place at a higher pace. What influence if any the Conservatives will have on the ground is difficult to see. Not much I would suspect.
Nevertheless this is a development to watch over the next few months.