Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/491/2504
Unite and New Labour
The first conference of Unite, the new super union, kicks off with the Amicus section on 18 June. The conference agenda is largely a nod through with most motions being supported by the executive. But there are a few that the executive are opposing.
Mick Cotter and John Barr, conference delegates
The most striking of these is a motion from the craft sector calling for the repeal of all anti-trade union laws. It ends with the demand that if there is no progress the union's funding for New Labour should be stopped.
We have had ten years of promises from union leaderships to wait and see what 'Warwick' delivers, and so far it is pretty much zilch. Now we get 'Cruddas is the man', our whisperer in Gordon Brown's ear, well quite frankly we are fed up of being left dangling on a bungee rope.
Amicus recently backed an early day motion in parliament, supported by over one hundred Labour MPs, calling for employment rights for migrant workers. Had it become law it could have had a major impact on the wages and conditions of migrant workers and British workers alike. The motion was subsequently hijacked and sabotaged by a government minister.
So a quiet word in Gordon's ear is going to solve all our problems? It's our money the union leaders are giving to these bandits who then turn round and mug us. It is about time we said No Say, No Pay!
Motions on Trident renewal and a composite on the environment are also opposed by the executive citing the legitimate concerns of the members who work in these industries over job security and terms and conditions. Socialists believe that these concerns are unfounded and a high-profile union campaign for an alternative is what is lacking.
We believe that there will need to be an increase in the number of workers in these industries in order to monitor and decontaminate nuclear waste sites, decommission and decontaminate existing nuclear facilities and carry out research and development into other forms of power.
A guarantee of job security and a safe energy policy are not possible under capitalism. What is needed is the public ownership of the energy companies.
In The Socialist 14 June 2007:
Unison national conference
What we think
Socialist Party NHS campaign
War and terrorism
G8 Summit protests
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis