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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 November 2018

Re-elect Chris Baugh PCS AGS

PCS union members: why we're backing Chris

Chris Baugh with protesters outside the British Museum, 20.3.18

Chris Baugh with protesters outside the British Museum, 20.3.18   (Click to enlarge)

Voting is due to take place in civil service union PCS's broad left grouping, Left Unity, to decide candidates for positions including assistant general secretary (AGS) of the union.

Socialist Party member and incumbent Chris Baugh is fighting to retain the position against a challenge to member-led, militant trade unionism.

The Socialist spoke to PCS members attending the recent Socialism 2018 event about why they're backing Chris, all in a personal capacity.

"I'm backing Chris because I can see an emergent threat in the union, where we want this union to be member-led, but at the moment it looks as though the union's moving towards control by unelected full-timers.

"It looks as though some of the most ardent and best fighters over the years are being excluded. So I think we need to win this for the rank-and-file worker in the union."

Jaime Davies, PCS rep, HM Revenue and Customs, South East Wales

"The reason I'm backing Chris is because I want to see a more democratic union - a union that actually considers the members and puts the members first, rather than just top-down. I want plenty of discussion about how we take things forward."

Roger Thomas, PCS Bristol planning inspectorate, South West regional committee

"I'm backing Chris because since 2004 he's done a superb job as our AGS. He's showed himself to be fully electable, elected three times.

"He's done absolutely nothing wrong in that role, and I think it was a massive mistake for Janice Godrich to stand against him and split the left."

Dave Warren, PCS DVLA Swansea branch executive committee, former Department for Transport group vice-president

"I'm backing Chris because not only is he the best candidate, but this is the principle of democracy here. What right has Mark Serwotka to tell PCS Left Unity who its nomination should be for AGS candidate?

"Chris is the best for the job, fighting for the best position, fighting for democracy in the union."

Dave Bartlett, PCS Ministry of Justice group executive committee

"I'm supporting Chris Baugh to be the PCS Left Unity candidate for AGS because of his brilliant record fighting for PCS members.

"There is a lot at stake for our union now, and we need to ensure that PCS can stand as a democratic, fighting union - despite the divisive moves of others which have split the left."

James Clement, PCS Coventry

"Chris Baugh represents one of the finest full-time officials within the PCS. His record speaks for itself.

"He's spent 40 years battling the right wing within the civil service unions. He's established his position as an outstanding officer, completely basing himself on the aspirations and the wishes of the rank and file.

"It beggars belief that he should be challenged at this stage by someone who's been a member of Left Unity and the Socialist Party.

"I can only assume it's the doing of the general secretary of the PCS, who unfortunately regards Chris as somewhat of a nuisance.

"The nuisance being a man who continually raises the issues with the leadership of what is in the best interests of the rank and file.

"He's got my total support, and I believe with the kind of support he enjoys, he'll emerge victorious."

Tony Mulhearn, PCS ARMS North West, former leading member of Liverpool anti-cuts councillors

"Chris has been absolutely, fervently backing devolution for Wales, supporting reps, and developing the strategy and the industrial demands to take on Welsh government. But also to build the union in Wales - where we already have a Labour government.

"That is an ongoing campaign. We haven't necessarily had the support within the structures in Wales to take that forward.

"But Chris has pursued that and made sure it continues to be on the agenda of the union.

"Now we're taking strides in Wales to make sure the Wales committee is leading that fightback, with the support of Chris."

Katrine Williams, PCS Wales chair and national executive committee

Campaign latest

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In The Socialist 14 November 2018:

What we think

A mass, trade union-led, socialist anti-racist campaign can defeat the far right

Socialism 2018

Socialism 2018: Huge confidence in the working class to change society

International socialist news and analysis

US midterms: Republicans weakened - but workers' fightback needed to end Trumpism

Socialist Party news and analysis

Major private care operator puts thousands of vulnerable people at risk

Grenfell - no more cover-ups!

Tories out now to save our NHS

Socialist history

1918: revolution ends World War One - and shakes the capitalist world

Workplace news and analysis

TGI Fridays strike wins control of tips

British Gas workers need rank-and-file leadership

PCS union members: why we're backing Chris

Victory for democracy at CWU 'redesign' conference

National Education Union: vote for action on funding

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Haringey's 'Corbyn council' must refuse to make cuts!

NHS Tayside facing massive job cuts

Mansfield: keep our park open!

Newham by-election: We need anti-austerity councillors

Leeds meeting backs striking rail guards

Welsh Socialist Students campaign and meet in Swansea


Engaging book about Corbyn's rise doesn't provide answers on how to change Labour

Theatre: The Last Seam - a lasting tribute to Mary Jackson

The Socialist inbox


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