Thursday, July 01, 2010

Defending jobs and services - Defending our Unions

A hat tip to the Stronger Unions Blog for the news that the madcap Thatcherites of the "Taxpayers Alliance" are trying to provoke an attack upon trade union facility agreements which formalise time off work for senior lay officials (

As someone who is happy to pay fair taxes I resent my role as a taxpayer being appropriated by self-appointed spokespeople who read the Mail and the Torygraph (or - at least - look at the pictures).

The wild eyed characters around the far right who populate the "Taxpayers Alliance" gathered information on trade union time off agreements through Freedom of Information Requests before the General Election.

It is a shame that Cameron did not follow their chosen course in the spring, as had he exposed himself as a co-thinker of the drooling reactionaries who make up the " Taxpayers Alliance" he might have done far less well at the polls!

However, though even the Government are not keen to be associated with the embarrassing fools who constitute the "Taxpayers Alliance" there must be a risk that they will follow the lead to attack trade unions.

In which case of course - as the Stronger Unions blog does - we must explain why rational employers understand the value of trade union organisation of the workforce (as their unwanted Poujadist cheerleaders of the "Taxpayers Alliance" do not).

However the crucial reason why my employer - in common with many public service employers - grants me paid time off to do my trade union work is because they know they have to.

Whether or not it is of value to our employers that lay union officials have paid time off, it is of value to our members.

What we have, we hold!

That is what matters and why we must defend the gains we have won.

The "Taxpayers Alliance" is nothing more than the otherwise unemployable dregs of the ruling class. We do not need them any more than the Tories did (and indeed a lot less!)

Ignoring these embarrassing nonentities I think we need to win the argument not that trade unions benefit employers but that we benefit employees - all of whom should be members!

The best way to do this is to step up the fight to defend jobs and services!

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

1 comment:

nick venedi said...

Many trade union reps have sacrificed their own careers and spend most of their working lives not progressing and fighting to defend others. Their input and intervention keeps the balance and often saves the employer time and expense. An employer would have to consult with say 300 members of staff on an individual basis where there is no elected rep during a reorganisation. There is no way that elected tu officers are not worth their while. Section 188 of the TULRC Act 1992 on its own confers a statutory power and rights onto elected reps. The alliance should worry more about the cost to taxpayers in areas where there are no reps! I know this from doing a tu job for 22 years! There should be more TU reps on facility time!
Nick Venedi