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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 January 2008

Building workers fight for real union representation

Construction workers from across the north-west are demonstrating at Whiston Hospital on 11 January. While industry bosses turn the screws on all trades, certain trade union officials seem keener on helping the employers than helping workers. From 10am workers will be demanding the removal of such an official.

Hugh Caffrey, Manchester

This appointed individual, Amicus convenor for NG Baileys, is reported to have 'outed' an EPIU activist to the employers, who then transferred him off-site. Workers demand the convenor's removal and replacement with a seasoned activist, preferably elected on-site.

Unite-EPIU activist Colin Trousdale told the socialist: "This has shades of the Manchester Royal Infirmary site where three elected workplace reps have been locked out for nearly two years due to similar goings on.

"In my own case I have been subjected to two 'off-the-record' chats with the project supervisor and cautioned that my continued employment with the company may well depend upon me curtailing my trade union activities. The subject matter of the second chat were things that I only ever raised at the Amicus Manchester central branch meeting!"

Stooge convenors must go. The right of election and recall must apply to all representatives and officials throughout the construction unions. Before Unite merged, Amicus members had won the right to elect officials. When this was lost through the union merger, the socialist warned that struggle would be needed to win it across the new union.

A series of demonstrations for direct employment of construction workers have been called by the Amicus section. But if the Unite leadership is serious about winning direct employment, they should plan a campaign of industrial action to achieve it. Mobilising union members on a fighting programme could reach out to the unorganised, including migrant workers, and rebuild trade unionism across the industry. The following demands would be a start:

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In The Socialist 10 January 2008:

Fight for socialism!

Defeat the pay limit

Feature: Socialism and democracy needed to reshape the world


Socialist Party workplace news

Postal workers fight to defend the Burslem 12

Scrooge employers attack shop workers

Building workers fight for real union representation

Fighting council cuts

Industrial news in brief


Socialist Party editorial

Renationalise the energy industry


Socialist Party news and analysis

Police ballot for industrial rights

Straw provokes POA

Soaring food prices hit world's poor

Big business hands off our NHS!

The privateers are taking over


International socialist news and analysis

Pakistan: Mass opposition to Musharraf regime after Benazir killing

Kenya: Stolen election explodes into mass anger and bloodshed


Socialist Party feature

Victory! Tenants beat 1 million sell-off campaign


Obituary

Obituary: Andrew Glyn


Socialist Party review

Review: Marx's Das Kapital: a biography, by Francis Wheen


 

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