Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/529/4015
Unison elections: Stop the witch hunts!
Workers are facing a concerted onslaught on their pay, terms and conditions by health trusts, local authorities and Gordon Brown's Labour government.
Unison members need their union to fight back against these attacks. But the current leadership has proved incapable - and unwilling - to lead such a fight. Instead activists who are leading struggles on behalf of their members, including Socialist Party members, are being witch-hunted.
Campaigning against pay cuts isn't rocket science. If the employers don't meet the union's claims and aren't prepared to negotiate, the union should - without delay - ballot members for industrial action. No more dragging of feet!
In 2007, Unison's leaderships in both health and local government frustrated every attempt by members to take action.
It took five months for the health executive to organise a ballot and then they refused to make a recommendation on a below-inflation offer.
In local government, they undertook numerous consultation exercises before launching a 'real' ballot and then when members had voted for action - they immediately settled on the rejected figure! This year they are recommending rejection of the pay offer.
Throughout those 'campaigns' Socialist Party members were at the forefront in opposing the leadership's inaction - always calling for ordinary members to have their say.
But it is clear that there should be more reps on the group executives who are prepared to fight these attacks to prevent unelected, highly paid officials - who have no idea what it is like surviving on low wages - selling members out.
The Socialist Party says:
- Fight the pay cuts - now!
- Stop the sell-off of the health service
- Ballot all Unison members on whether to stay affiliated to the Labour Party
- All full-time officials to be elected and receive the average wage of a worker
- Stop the witch hunts.
The following Socialist Party members are standing for election to the health and local government service group executives:
Greater London region: Len Hockey (health), Glenn Kelly (local government). East Midlands region: Vicky Ingram and Marc Glasscoe (local government). Yorkshire and Humberside region: Adrian O'Malley (health) and Vicky Perrin (local government).
In The Socialist 16 April 2008:
Workplace news and analysis
Global food crisis
Socialist Party election campaign
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party news and views
International socialist news and analysis