Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Worst of Times?

I don't buy the Times (both because I remember Wapping in 86 and because I find today that recycled toilet paper can be kinder to my piles).

However - in an episode which clearly breached Murdoch's paywall - I picked up a paper copy discarded by a disappointed customer travelling by tube earlier today.

And so I learned that the Coalition Government want to return to 1927 and to require trade unionists who are political levy payers to "opt in" rather than provide for members who do not wish to pay to "opt out" as is presently the case.

(Regular readers Sid and Doris Blogger will expect a link at this point but there is n point linking to a paid site...)

The superficial individual "fairness" of "opting in" may appeal to some (perhaps even some of those who believe it would be "leftwing" to fracture the Labour-Union link).

However, trade unions are not voluntary clubs of individuals who seek "fairness" - ours are collective organisations of workers seeking justice and decent lives for our members.

If we collectively determine the need for action - whether in the industrial or political sphere - we must then act in unity (not as individuals) to achieve our goal.

(I hasten to add that we need - but often do not have - the maximum democracy and tolerance of dissent as we arrive at collective decisions!)

Therefore - particularly given the draconian legal restrictions on political activity by trade unions - we need to be able collectively to decide to support candidates for election (or indeed a political party rooted in our movement).

A private corporation can do this without specific legal restriction - so can any private association. Trade unions alone face unique legal restrictions.


Because trade unions, alone among voluntary associations and uniquely in civil society, organise working people at the point of production.

Trade unions have a unique capacity - a particular power. Our unions are the collective expression of we who make the world anew each day by our labour.

However weak we may believe ourselves to be we frighten - by our very existence - our often incompetent and frequently venal rulers. Therefore they attack us.

Whether or not you support the Labour Link, now is the time to stand up for political trade unionism - for the right of trade unionists, as we ourselves, collectively and democratically decide, to support parties and candidates whom we believe will advance our interests.

So that we can build a society beyond paywalls and beyond Murdoch...

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Jon apparently according to anouther unison blogger its youe fault that BSF projects have ben canceled!!! I think that blogger should be following the lead form the gen sec that we unite and fight the cuts!