Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/537/6142

From The Socialist newspaper, 11 June 2008

Usdaw needs a fighting leadership

Socialist Party member Robbie Segal is standing for general secretary of the shop and distribution workers' union USDAW. The Socialist recently interviewed her.

Why are you standing?

The current general secretary, John Hannett, told the union's executive council (EC) meeting in May that he was standing for re-election. It was in 'any other business', it was not an itemised agenda item. The election is to be held over the summer, when workers are on holiday.

The election will cost the union an enormous amount of extra money. I argued that the election should be held at the same time as the presidential, EC and divisional councillors' elections later this year. Our low-paid members have just had an increase in their subscriptions. The extra money earned will be squandered on his unnecessary and opportunistic election.

John Hannett's campaign is engineered to run roughshod over democracy, allowing very little time for other candidates to organise, to get nominated or to raise finance. It shows the real weakness of the bureaucracy at the top. Now the officials will be going round branches and distribution centres to persuade branch officers to nominate John Hannett.

I feel that it is necessary for a candidate on the left to stand up for democracy. Union members in retail need the return of their right to vote on their terms and conditions, rather than having deals done with the bosses over our heads. We need power returned to elected lay members on the executive council.

What do you feel about the union's 'partnership' deal with Tesco?

Our members demand national free collective bargaining rather than partnership that has negated the power of the union. There has to be principled negotiations rather than class collaboration. You have to have that line in the sand that you do not cross over as a negotiator. You must put terms and conditions deals to the whole membership. What in real terms has partnership really done for us? The only one who seems to have benefited from partnership is Tesco.

What is your attitude to the Labour Party now?

Labour's leaders have abandoned any pretence of representing working-class people. Despite John Hannett's continued mantra on the achievements of the Labour Party, shop workers are worse off than ever with gas and electric prices going up by 17% and 15% just this year. We work hard stacking shelves and wasting away on checkouts and how are we repaid? By the bosses getting larger pay-rises while ours dwindle!

We need a party that genuinely represents our views and that won't be afraid to be the voice for our anger. This is why Socialist Party members are involved with the Campaign for a New Workers Party (CNWP).

What will be your initial campaign?

I will launch a campaign to fight for a living minimum wage of 8 per hour for all retail workers from 16 years to retirement age. I will fight to link pensions to earnings. 8 is the European Union poverty threshold below which you are regarded as working poor. Why should we receive benefits from the state and a poverty wage from big business when they are making enormous profits?

I am standing for a general secretary on a workers' wage. I reject John Hannett's wage and benefits totalling over 100,000. I will take the wage that I earn as a Tesco worker and all necessary expenses will be open to scrutiny so that any member can check them.

How can you sit on the low pay commission drawing that sort of wage when your own union members in retail earn barely above the national minimum wage?

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


In The Socialist 11 June 2008:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Stop the NHS sell-off

Banking on NHS profits

My pain - and privatisation


Anti-racism

Racist BNP have no solutions!


Socialist Party editorial

Will Obama win?

Obama declares victory, and shifts to the right


Socialist Party campaigns

"Anti-terror" laws are no solution


Defend Tommy Sheridan

Stirring rally backs Tommy Sheridan

Unison witch-hunt hits Northern Ireland


Campaign for a New Workers Party

Come to the Campaign for a New Workers' Party Conference

New Labour's parallel universe

Waltham Forest protest

Them & Us


Socialist Party youth and students

Underfunding youth facilities: It makes no sense!


Socialist Party feature

Oil price shock - the chaos of capitalism

Sudan's poor paying the price for oil

Fast news


Socialist Party review

Immortal Technique at the Coronet, London 4 June 2008


Socialist Party workplace news

Usdaw needs a fighting leadership

Organise to fight the public-sector pay robbery

National Shop Stewards Network second conference

Fujitsu workers strike to save jobs

The costs of privatisation

Brighton bus drivers strike


 

Home   |   The Socialist 11 June 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Usdaw:

triangleRetail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs

triangleGeneral secretary coronation

triangleUsdaw elections announced - fight for a left leadership, vote for Amy Murphy

triangleTesco's 10% pay increase accompanied by cuts and job losses

triangleThe left unions and the Labour Party affiliation debate

Tesco:

triangleUsdaw ADM 2017: Left challenge needed to end assault on retail jobs and conditions

triangleWhat would a socialist food industry look like?

triangleSolidarity with Tesco Ireland Valentine's Day strike

triangleBillions in profit for Tesco, cuts and job losses for workers

Labour:

triangleThe Socialist's 2017 quiz

triangleTotnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangleLabour 'purge' furore really just democracy

Election:

triangleBlairite horror and Labour's divisions graphically exposed

triangleCorbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

Socialist:

triangle110 years ago: massacre at Santa Maria school in Chile - commemorate 21 December 1907

Campaign for a New Workers Party:

triangleAfter RMT Conference: What Now for the Campaign for a New Workers Party?

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

14/12/17

Waltham Forest

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

13/12/17

London

Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

13/12/17

Fracking

Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

13/12/17

Devon

Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

13/12/17

Miners

Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

13/12/17

Bradford

Bradford campaign to save children's services launched

13/12/17

South London

South London health bosses' cover-up

13/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite day of action against blacklisting

13/12/17

Brighton

Brighton victory

13/12/17

Newham

Newham anti-academies strikes

13/12/17

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

12/12/17

Woolwich

Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

6/12/17

Donald Trump

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

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

triangle13 Dec Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy

EU parliament, Strasbourg

triangle13 Dec Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

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