Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/558/6667

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


Anti-racism

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


Comment

Art and revolution


International socialist news and analysis

Somalia piracy - a consequence of western powers' intervention

France: Education strikes on the agenda


 

Facebook   Twitter



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

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Bookshop






Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter



Related links:

Unison:

triangleHealth workers vote to fight government pay cuts

triangleLet down by Welsh Labour

triangleProfit vultures out of NHS

triangleCare UK strike: national union support needed

triangleDoncaster strike: Fight Tory 'don't Care UK society'!

Pay:

triangleWorkers' Memorial Day: strike for safety

triangleChina: labour disputes soar

triangleNew figures reveal capitalism in crisis - not recovery

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Hackney:

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: India - the elections and after

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: The Scotland independence referendum

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: The lessons of the miners' strike

Council:

triangleHelp TUSC offer a no-cuts alternative on 22 May

triangleThem & Us

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

23/4/14

NUT

Don't let Gove wreck education!

23/4/14

London

Every job matters: Support the Tube workers' strike

23/4/14

TUSC

Over 550 TUSC no-cuts candidates in place

23/4/14

NHS

In the fight to defend our NHS, know your enemy

23/4/14

CWU

CWU conference: Renationalise Royal Mail!

23/4/14

RMT

Rail workers prepare for action

23/4/14

Higher Education

Workplace news in brief

21/4/14

Doncaster

Care UK workers stepping up the action

17/4/14

Poverty

Food Bank use escalates

17/4/14

Construction

120 turn up to Unite construction meeting

16/4/14

TUSC

Help TUSC offer a no-cuts alternative on 22 May

16/4/14

Unison

Health workers vote to fight government pay cuts

16/4/14

Students

NUS leaders: sip tea or put up a serious fight?

16/4/14

Bedroom tax

Beating evictions

16/4/14

NUT

Gains for left on NUT executive

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

triangle23 Apr Don't let Gove wreck education!

triangle23 Apr Every job matters: Support the Tube workers' strike

triangle23 Apr Over 550 TUSC no-cuts candidates in place

Housing emergency!

triangle23 Apr Why is there a housing crisis?

Rallying for a yes vote in Edinburgh, photo Matt Dobson

triangle23 Apr Scotland: Capitalist 'Project Fear' backfiring?

Mitie cleaners on London Underground demanding decent pay, photo Neil Cafferky

triangle23 Apr Hungry Britain: Fight for jobs and a living wage for all

triangle23 Apr New figures reveal capitalism in crisis - not recovery

More ...

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC)

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC)

triangle24 Apr Cardiff East Socialist Party: Building the CWI across the world

triangle30 Apr RCT/Caerphilly Socialist Party: Do you have to be Red to be Green?

triangle30 Apr Llanelli & West Wales Socialist Party: What caused the horror that was World War One?

More ...

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Find us on Facebook

Archive

Categories

1-9 

1-9 


Archives:

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice