Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/770/16924
From The Socialist newspaper, 19 June 2013
Sir 'sell-out' Brendan
That former TUC general secretary Brendan Barber is now 'Sir' Brendan will come as no surprise to any union activist who saw the pensions dispute destroyed in 2011.
Following successful pressure by the Socialist Party, the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) and others, 30 November 2011 saw two million workers on strike over the Con-Dems' assault on public sector pensions. It showed just how much power the union movement could have.
The sell-out that followed was orchestrated by Barber and designed to destroy the growing momentum that had been built up.
The knighthood given to him will be seen by all rank and file trade unionists as a reward for the deliberate destruction of a strike movement that could have defeated the government.
Barber has spent his entire life in the TUC bureaucracy. He has never been a shop steward, never held an elected position in any union.
He and others like him see their role as managing the union movement and presenting a 'responsible' face of trade unionism to the government.
They think that the only role of trade unions is to mitigate the worst aspects of the employers' plans.
When you are faced with a government which is determined to destroy everything we have ever won, this approach is totally inadequate.
With their six figure salaries and hefty expense accounts the TUC leaders have little in common with the rest of us.
Rank and file
That is why we need to strengthen rank and file trade unionism to fight not only the employers but the traitors within the union leadership.
The role of the NSSN is crucial in helping to develop a new generation of class fighters.
The Socialist Party stands for the full democratisation of the union movement. All key union officials should be elected and paid no more than the average wage of their members.
We must end the rule of unaccountable bureaucrats such as Barber and build a fighting, democratic union movement.
These rotten traitors must be swept aside if we are to beat back the attacks of the Con-Dems and the employers. The NSSN conference on 29 June is the next stage in building such a movement.
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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
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In The Socialist 19 June 2013:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Cuts can be beaten!
Why we're going to the NSSN conference: Coventry communications workers
Fight the Tories for right to a decent education system
Student loans threat: Action needed on student debt mountain
Lowest living standards in a decade
Sir 'sell-out' Brendan
Them & Us
Fighting the bedroom tax
We can beat the bedroom tax - Supplement to the Socialist
Let's axe the bedroom tax
International socialist news and analysis
Turkey: Eyewitness to Erdogan's state terror
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Southampton byelection: Labour vote halved
Fire cuts - public will support strike action
Stopping the BNP from meeting
Home care: Cuts and outsourcing equal abuse
Wales campaigners fight for NHS
Socialist Party news
Socialist Party workplace news
Bin workers strike for seven days
NUT members strike to defend teaching assistant posts
Housing support workers say 'enough is enough'
Unison Local Government conference: Leadership faces delegates' anger
Support for socialist alternative to pro-cuts New Labour at GMB conference
Wales Shop Stewards' Network conference
Workplace news in brief
Socialist Party reviews
Budding trade unionists and passionate Chartists
BBC 'unbalanced' on Liverpool 47
The Socialist 19 June 2013 |
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