Sunday, August 31, 2008

TUC to plan strike action shock?

I was accused of being naively overoptimistic (if not inebriated!) in relation to an earlier post when I suggested that the point of the TUC ought to be to coordinate workers’ struggles.

However, whoever has been speaking (anonymously) to the Observer from within the TUC reportedly says that this is what we will be doing in Brighton next week; “Union leaders have been discussing a joint plan of attack, bringing out staff across different public services on the same day, throwing schools, councils, nursing homes and other services into simultaneous chaos.”

Well, maybe.

According to the reports a UNISON insider says that it is difficult to coordinate industrial action (although the same – anonymous – commentator says that we have it on our radar).

We certainly ought to be planning such action but I am not yet convinced that we are. Certainly we seem to have a clearer vision of the obstacles than the objective.

PCS seem able to align strike action by sections of their membership in dispute with other public service workers taking action.

They do this because they have a sound analysis of what they are trying to do – which is to exert political pressure on a hostile Government - and they see that the maximum unity is the best available tactic to achieve this end. They don't start from the presumption that it is only unity within this or that "sector" that is important.

Our members certainly need a more effective public sector pay campaign from our trade union movement. If our leaders wished to announce that they should do so in public, and not by anonymous briefings to sympathetic journalists.

With little hope of a satisfactory settlement of the local government pay dispute in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, I have a personal vested interest in getting this united action off the ground!

As rank and file activists return from our holidays we need to continue to build the unity of the members of the different unions at a local level.


Anonymous said...

Are you the UNISON insider??

Anonymous said...

I think it must be you....were you up in Scotland in that croft with Alistair "oops, did I really say that out loud" Darling, too??