Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 26 November 2008

Meeting pledges to fight witch-hunt

Hackeny Defend the Four meeting addressed by Glenn Kelly, photo Hackney Socialist Party

Hackeny Defend the Four meeting addressed by Glenn Kelly, photo Hackney Socialist Party

Democracy not bureaucracy - No witch-hunt in Unison". This was the title and theme of a meeting called by Hackney trades council in support of Hackney Unison chair Brian Debus, one of the "famous four" Socialist Party members facing disciplinary procedures from their own union.

A Hackney Socialist Party member

Unison national executive member Glenn Kelly (another of the witch-hunted four) opened the discussion by putting the events in their current political context, in the week when council workers received their year's pay rise.

Thanks to the shambolic lead given by Unison, when workers lost two days pay on strike only for the bureaucracy to accept the original offer, this works out as an average of just 5-7 extra a week.

The government found hundreds of billions of pounds to bail out the banks, but 1 billion would have been more than enough to cover a cost of living pay rise for every public sector worker in the country. Rather than fighting for the rights of their members, unelected full time officials are prioritising looking after the Labour government and attacking any genuine fighters who they see as a threat.

A member from Southwark Unison spoke about members' shock and confusion of the original claims of racism in relation to the leaflet given out at Unison's 2007 conference. Once members looked into the charges it was clear what the real accusation is - challenging the standing orders committee. The bureaucracy is showing its intention to stifle any debate inside Unison, particularly around the Labour link which is holding back struggle at every opportunity.

Hackeny Defend the Four meeting addressed by John Leach, President RMT, photo Hackney Socialist Party

Hackeny Defend the Four meeting addressed by John Leach, President RMT, photo Hackney Socialist Party

John Leach, President of the rail union RMT, made the point that occasionally unions do find themselves in the unfortunate position of having to discipline members who have gone against the rulebook, but that was clearly not the case here.

Action has been taken against the four in order to silence dissent and to limit any opportunity for rank and file members to involve themselves in the running of their union. John mentioned the fact that while the economic crisis has lead to the mainstream press announcing that "Marx is back", there has been little talk of the class struggle that is the realisation of Marx's writings.

The notable exceptions to this have been the comrades now being witch-hunted, and others like them, who have dedicated themselves to fighting for the working class at every opportunity over decades.

Brian Debus closed the meeting by showing the inconsistencies of the union leadership, whose original charge of racism is now one of attacking the standing orders committee.

Motions that were ruled out at the 2007 conference for being "incompetent" were ruled out in 2008 on completely different grounds (one was "in conflict with the rules" and one "could bring the union into legal jeopardy").

As Brian explained, Unison has a leadership that is either incapable or unwilling to lead their members in struggle, and who then attack those that can and do fight.

It was announced at the meeting that the union disciplinary hearings, originally planned for 24-28 November, have now been postponed.

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

In The Socialist 26 November 2008:

Socialist Party NHS campaign

Darling's prescription... It's spend, spend, spend on the banks... but cuts, cuts, cuts for the NHS

Top-up payments for private health care another step towards two-tier National Health

Environment and socialism

Socialist 'deal' for environment needed

Campaign Against Climate Change march

Socialist Party editorial

Alistair Darling's pre Budget Report: Pain now, pay later

Unison witchhunt

Activists discuss how to reclaim Unison

Meeting pledges to fight witch-hunt

Unison leadership takeover Newham branch

Socialist Party workplace news

Manchester: No redundancies at IMI!

Strike saves jobs at Fiddlers Ferry

Organise to save jobs


BNP membership list: A weak divided party exposed

New Labour hypocrisy on racism

Youth Against Racism gig

Socialist Party campaigns

Campaigning to save post offices

Rover's ex-workers wage cut scandal

Socialist Party feature

China's food contamination crisis deepens

Socialist Party women

Defend abortion rights


Art and revolution

International socialist news and analysis

Somalia piracy - a consequence of western powers' intervention

France: Education strikes on the agenda


Home   |   The Socialist 26 November 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Bookshop

Related links:


triangleUnison higher education seminar points no way forward over pay

triangleSupport the 'Kinsley 3' cleaners in pay fight

triangleBristol: Millions of pounds of "horrifically unpalatable" cuts

triangleDurham teaching assistants ballot for strike

triangleUnison Broad Left meeting


triangleFour in five self-employed workers living in poverty

triangleAcademies mired in debt and corruption

triangleTV: No Place to Call Home

triangleLondon Underground cleaners protest pay cut


triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Black Lives Matter

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: The struggle is international

triangleRitzy strikers walk-out and rally


triangleBin workers' action strengthens in numbers and mood

triangleBattle in Leeds council over care home closure

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Bin workers' action strengthens in numbers and mood



Health campaigners announce national NHS demo



Hundreds march to defend South Tyneside hospital


Higher Education

Unison higher education seminar points no way forward over pay


Bin workers

Striking Sheffield bin workers picket scabs



Crossrail sparks get organised


Ken Loach

"We are all Daniel Blake!"



Housing campaigners meet to plan resistance to the Housing Act



Sheffield bin striker slams privatised refuse bosses


Waltham Forest

Butterfields housing victory



NHS at breaking Point


Socialist Party

Can you donate to the Socialism 2016 appeal?



Come to Socialism 2016


Them & Us

Them & Us



Teachers working 60 hours need strikes, not studies

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

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

triangle27 Oct Bin workers' action strengthens in numbers and mood

Dave Nellist and Jeremy Corbyn at the Burston school rally, 4.9.16, photo by Teresa Mackay

triangle26 Oct Readmit expelled socialists

triangle26 Oct Health campaigners announce national NHS demo

triangle26 Oct Ireland: Jobstown protester found guilty

triangle26 Oct Welsh Labour government makes Tory cuts

triangle26 Oct Protest and strike to save our NHS

triangle26 Oct Hundreds march to defend South Tyneside hospital

More ...

triangle27 Oct Leicester Socialist Party: 'Prevent' - Does the state really have children's best interests at heart?

triangle27 Oct Waltham Forest Socialist Party: Solidarity with refugees!

triangle27 Oct Birmingham South East Socialist Party: William Lane - a history of Australian socialism

triangle27 Oct Bradford Socialist Party: Social services in crisis

More ...

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






October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016




















Platform setting: = No platform choice