Friday, February 26, 2010

When is a trade union not a trade union?

The trouble with being directed to the website of the Certification Officer is that you can be distracted and start wondering about a question about which you first blogged nearly two and a half years ago!

Now a trade union is a proper trade union if it is affiliated to the TUC.

If you work for a trade union you are - of course - still eligible to be a member of a trade union since (as an employee) you may need trade union representation.

Whether or not the rules of the trade union for which you work permit you to be a member of that trade union, it makes a certain amount of sense to be a member of another trade union for the purposes of representation.

But surely, if you are committed to the trade union movement, you would want to be a member of a TUC affiliated trade union? Not to an organisation outside the TUC?? (Even if they affiliate to the General Federation of Trade Unions)

It seems more than 300 UNISON employees disagree with me!?

Update on Saturday 27 February following comments on this post;

If as has been reported SUE did try to affiliate to the TUC and were blocked then that is a disgrace. Other unionised employees of trade unions are members of TUC affiliates and the TUC ought to be open to all independent trade unions (exceptional circumstances aside such as the role of the EEPTU at Wapping in the 1980s!)

Since UNISON recognises SUE (as well as UNITE) to represent our employees we ought surely to support SUE in lobbying for admission to the TUC. It was and is a strength of our movement that we have a single trade union centre, and I certainly don't apologise for a prejudice in favour of TUC affiliated organisations.

If this information is correct then the answer to the question above is "when Brendan Barber won't let them into the TUC...)


Anonymous said...

Dont be so silly Jon.
GFTU is afiliated to TUC
There are plenty of small unions, both TUC and non TUC affiliated to GFTU. Thats its prupose to provide services to small unions.
I think UNISON staff need a union that will protect them from the likes of yourself who is always so hostile to staff as far as I can see.

Anonymous said...

Many years ago SUE spent a great deal of time and effort trying to get affiliation to the TUC. One Brendan Barber told the SUE Officers that the principal reason why he opposed their affiliation was - and this is a pretty direct quote from the notes taken - 'We represent your employers and if you fall out with them, we don't want our biggest affiliate to be embarrassed at Congress by this'.

You may claim not be hostile to staff but your decision to post a blog criticising and attacking 300 UNISON employees for their choice of collective organisation certainly feels like it

Sid said...

The choice of a union which will best represent an individual in the workplace within which he or she works is an entirely personal one. I joined Unison in a workplace where I could have joined Unite and most other workers were in that union, I would have been more than a bit surprised and annoyed if the elected members started questioning the validity of my decision. NALGO one of the founder unions only joined the TUC in 1964.

I am however curious as to what has prompted you to seek to undermine the validity of one of the Unison staff unions.

You do seem to have an axe to grind despite your insistence to the contrary.