Friday, August 10, 2007

Pay - TUC to the rescue???

No regular blogging just now as I have better things to do.

What are we to make of the suspension of strike action in the postal service?

All strikes end in negotiation and (usually) compromise – so it is to be hoped that the CWU can get a good deal. It was alwasy going to be difficult to coordinate all the various public sector pay struggles – even within one Union between health and local government… We still need to secure the maximum coordination if we are to break the 2% pay norm.

I notice though that the talks between the CWU and the Royal Mail are being hosted by the TUC. Now I thought we had a neutral and independent body to host these sort of talks… (and ok, I know ACAS is a government body and that the state in a capitalist society is not really neutral between workers and employers…)

What concerns me is that instead of being a coordinating body to organise and grow a fighting trade union movement, the TUC seems content to take on the role of broker of deals between public service unions and their employers (behind whom stands the Labour Government). Is this what we want from a trade union centre?

I worry that when Congress comes to Brighton in four weeks time, while we will have a good firm composite motion on public sector pay based upon submissions from PCS and the NUT which you can find in the Preliminary Agenda, we will also have a statement from the General Council. I am not sure that the General Council of the TUC will take a firm line on public sector pay.

Or am I just an old cynic who should get out more…?

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