Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Defending the indefensible?

Prospect are currently moving Motion 39 at the TUC on Defence Expenditure which UNISON will be opposing.

I agree with UNISON's policy on this motion.

We ought not - as a trade union movement - to be campaigning for "adequate resources for defence"."

"Defence" is a misnomer for expenditure on a variety of ways to kill other human beings.

Chris Baugh of PCS is seconding the motion and making valid points about the detrimental impact of privatisation on workers in the defence sector.

However, surely we should be arguing for arms conversion projects.

I don't care that the UK Defence capability is over stretched. I think we should stop sending our troops abroad. I think we should leave NATO and stop pretending to be an imperial power.

Mike Kirby, UNISON's Scottish Regional Convenor is expressing our opposition to the motion with particular emphasis on our opposition to nuclear weapons.

It is disappointing that the trade union movement is adopting such a narrow focus on the immediate interests of workers in the defence sector rather than raising our eyes to look for a better future for those workers carrying out socially useful work.

UNISON was one of only a handful of unions who opposed the motion.

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