Tuesday, September 12, 2006

What's going on at the TUC on Tuesday morning?

It’s Tuesday morning at Congress and we are debating Employment Rights. Tony Woodley has just explained why the General Council has “reservations” about a composite motion (number 5) which we are about to pass in favour of the Trade Union Freedom Bill.

The one thing everyone is talking about here in Brighton is the one thing that isn’t on the agenda – the Labour leadership. For the first time we have had our bags scanned coming in (to protect the safety of one Anthony Blair).

John McDonnell has been very well received at fringe meetings, including those called last night by the Institute of Employment Rights and by the Stop the War Coalition. The General Secretary of AMICUS is reported as backing Gordon Brown, but without (your blogger understands) any mandate from his Union for allowing his views to be spun in that way.

The coffee bar gossip has it that there has been a major falling out between the General Secretaries of AMICUS and the TGWU arising out of this development. Given that Gordon Brown backs privatisation and Trident nuclear submarines it is difficult to see why any self-respecting trade unionist would want to back him.

The other discussion among delegates is what to do this afternoon when we receive a farewell speech from Anthony. Bob Crow has announced that the RMT delegation will walk out, and a number of leftwing delegates appear to agree with this view. Other ideas include wearing slogan t-shirts.

In the event that I manage my laptop battery more successfully today than I did yesterday I will let you know later what happens…

5 comments:

Curlew said...

I was beginning to think there were no left views in the TUC - thanks for explaining the Amicus issue. I was going to join that Union last week, so took a look at their website, it seems to be very successful, with over 1 million members at 110.00 GBP a pop! hope all this fortune hasn't changed their politics....

A soft socialist said...

Apparntly Woodley was pissed off as Derek Simpson backed Brown.

What I've heard from other UNISON members who are probably more part of the bureacracy than yourself is that the big 4 want to back Brown but with concessions.

Sort of Warwick mark 2.

Curlew said...

Well if all four back Brown and no-one else, why should Brown give them anything? He could be forgiven for thinking that it's all in the bag?

A soft socialist said...

Mmm. I think the unions need to keep their counsel a bit more. That seemed to be what Prentis was hinting on the news. UNISON seems the best union for the agenda being set by the members anyway.

Jon Rogers said...

UNISON is a great union :) But I think we should be backing in public a socialist candidate who will support our policies.