Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/789/17765

From The Socialist newspaper, 20 November 2013

Unite sector conferences: Union delegates seek strategy for resistance

Kevin Parslow, Unite 1228 branch secretary (personal capacity)

Unite the Union held its biennial sector conferences from 11 to 14 November. They took place in the midst of attacks on the union's methods of campaigning from the Tories, the capitalist press and the Labour Party.

General secretary Len McCluskey said that the union "would not be retreating from the leverage campaign or peaceful protest" that had come under attack in the aftermath of the Grangemouth setback.

He would not "cow this union or its leadership" to the likes of the Daily Mail. Delegates were however warned that such big business mouthpieces were in attendance and would be looking to any incident or quote to stir trouble against Unite.

But delegates were not deterred from looking for answers to the important questions they face. Socialist Party members were to the fore. Should the union be bolder against all its opponents? Health delegate Andy Ford asked when coordinated action with other unions would be organised.

Len admitted that the TUC coordinating committee was not working. He said unions wanted to publicise their own disputes and felt their case would not be heard on a coordinated strike day.

But Unite is the biggest union in the country and if it gave a lead in calling for a 24-hour general strike the impact on workers in other unions would be enormous.

In answer to a question on Unite's political strategy construction delegate Dave Walsh was told the union "does not exist to bring the government down"; it is working to get Labour elected in 2015. Len said the union was not prepared to be passive and would support protests, although he was guarded as to what that and other comments meant.

Local government delegate Danny Hogan raised the grim prospect of another 144,000 jobs going in his sector even if a Labour government is elected in 2015. In response Len said the union would have to wait and see if it is successful in changing the Labour Party.

But an increasing number of delegates are questioning the political strategy of the union following the suspensions of councillors for fighting cuts and particularly the Falkirk events and the failure to get Unite members selected as parliamentary candidates.

Radicalism

Len did send a message to Ed Miliband: Labour needs a radical programme or it will be defeated. If Labour loses the next election, the union will have to revisit its political strategy.

But any suggestion of a radical programme from Labour was absent as a series of shadow ministers spoke to the individual sectors.

Local Government and Communities shadow minister Hilary Benn only promised Not for Profit sector delegates a redistribution of money from 'rich' to poor councils, as if so-called rich areas had no poverty problems at all.

These members, working in organisations that increasingly have to deal with the effects of austerity while having grants cut, were so angry they bombarded Benn with a series of questions, inadequately answered.

There is demand for a bold strategy reflected in this incident and resolutions passed in the local government and health sectors calling for strike action.

An attendance of 20 at the Socialist Party fringe meeting to hear speeches from National Shop Stewards Network chair Rob Williams and Unite Housing branch secretary Suzanne Muna also illustrates this. Angry delegates came to hear socialist explanations for the Grangemouth setback and a real alternative to New Labour. Increasingly, Unite members will turn to socialist ideas that will push Unite towards fighting policies and a break with Labour.

New pamphlet: A Socialist Way Forward for Unite
Essential reading for all Unite members - Only 2 including p&p
Available from www.socialistbooks.org.uk

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 20 November 2013:


International socialist news and analysis

Seattle: 90,000 votes for socialist change

Victory for socialist in Seattle!

Philippines: Typhoon damage worsened by capitalism

Sri Lanka: Cameron's empty promise of war inquiry


Socialist Party news and analysis

Drive the profit vultures out of our NHS

Fight the Tory witch-hunt against Unite

Students must 'fight for the right to fight'

Labour MPs absent in bedroom tax vote

Them & Us


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

We need you to stand against cuts

TUSC byelection candidates: opposing all cuts


Socialist Party workplace news

Unite sector conferences: Union delegates seek strategy for resistance

Portsmouth: 'Save the yards, nationalise'

Firefighters determined to fight on

Glasgow strike builds momentum

UPS workers resist bad working conditions

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Bedroom tax: Words are cheap - we need action now!

Birmingham children's services - a victim of cuts

Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance launched

One thousand march against EDL

Portsmouth: 30 students debate to vote or not to vote?

'Labour is indistinguishable from the Tories'

Pat Cross: 1935-2013


Socialist Party comments and reviews

JFK assassination: Who gained?

We need a real energy bill revolution


 

Home   |   The Socialist 20 November 2013   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Unite:

triangleLocal government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

triangleUnite protest against blacklisting

triangleArriva bus strikers stand firm

triangleBirmingham bin workers win!

triangleScotland: BiFab workers' occupation and march secures jobs and pay guarantee

Union:

triangleStrikers rally in Liverpool

trianglePCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference

triangleDramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

trianglePCS union says no to pay misery

Labour:

triangleAnti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangleBlairite horror and Labour's divisions graphically exposed

Government:

triangleIrish capitalist state: rotten to the core

triangleNationalise rail now

Grangemouth:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

6/12/17

Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

6/12/17

Transport

Arriva bus strikers stand firm

6/12/17

Pensions

BT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

6/12/17

PCS

Driving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

6/12/17

Newham

School staff strike against privatisation

6/12/17

Rail

Brutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services

6/12/17

PCS

PCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference

6/12/17

North Yorkshire

Court maintains injunction against fracking protesters

6/12/17

Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest Universal Credit protest

6/12/17

Coventry

Coventry Socialist sales hit 1,000

6/12/17

TUSC

TUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

6/12/17

Liverpool

Liverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students

6/12/17

Kirklees

Plans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

triangle13 Dec Caerphilly Socialist Party: Are we heading for an era of war?

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2