Men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name. (William Morris - A Dream of John Ball)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Merger Mania?

So AMICUS are clearly hoping for a new Union – and the question has to be whether the TGWU recalled Biennial Delegate Conference will agree.

Then again, I don’t think you would get very long odds on this.

Given the illogical structure of our trade union movement there is as much industrial logic in this proposed merger as you could hope for.

From experience I would say that activists in both Unions need to watch out for factions within the full-time machinery trying to grab power out of a merger. Also it has to be essential that the groups of activists in the merging Unions get together as soon as possible.

That means the AMICUS Unity Gazette and the TGWU Broad Left (whose lack of a public website may indicate a certain weakness?) need to get together to organise the rank and file of the new Union.

Certainly in the merger that created UNISON we failed to bring together the left across the different Unions and let the officials make the running. I hope that comrades in AMICUS and the TGWU will want to learn from our experience.

(About which I have a lot more to say if anyone is interested)

Update on 20 December (from the Morning Star this morning) the TGWU recall BDC did indeed back the merger, but - as per Louise's comment on this post - there seems to be no agreement about the name of the new Union!


Anonymous said...

I suspect that those in Amicus need to be clear that this a takeover not a merger and anyone in the GMB needs to understand that they need to join another union (quickly).

Anonymous said...

What concerns me is the huge power this will vest in the hands of the general secretary. I think its too much power but thats just me.

Tho industrially it makes perfect sense.

e10 rifles said...

red mist, can you elaborate?

As a GMB shop steward in a workplace with 50 members (about 33%) and no other recognised union, it's not that easy, is it?

Anonymous said...

talking of websites - I can't find the UUL one.... where's it gone?

Ronald McDonald said...

That would be far too modern and capitalist.

Anonymous said...

The T&G Broad Left doesn't have a website because it doesn't exist. No seriously, factions are banned in the T&G and therefore, although the Broad Left controls the union, like MI5 it doesn't officially admit it exists...

Mike ;-)