spotCampaigns

spotOrganisations

spotArguments for socialism

spotPeople

spotInternational

spotEvents

spotAround the UK


All keywords


All Organisations subcategories:

Art

* Commercial

Committee for a Workers International

Government

Labour Party

Left and radical

Media

Nationalist and National Liberation

Pro capitalist and Imperialist

Religious

Social Networks

Socialist Party

Sport

Trade Union

Transport

Voluntary & non-profit


Commercial keywords:

A4e (9)

Agricultural (7)

Amazon (16)

Arriva Rail North (12)

Art (59)

Asda (2)

Atos (12)

BAE (8)

BP (49)

Balfour Beatty (23)

Bombardier (10)

Care UK (9)

City Link (9)

Coca-cola (5)

Conocophillips (6)

Coryton (7)

Crown (11)

DLR (9)

Drug companies (18)

EDF Energy (12)

East Coast mainline (3)

Fannie Mae (1)

Ferries (10)

Finance (46)

First Bus (11)

First Great Western (5)

Freddie Mac (1)

G4s (15)

Gama (5)

Glencore (2)

HSBC (13)

Hovis (11)

ICL Plastics (2)

Jet (6)

Jet (6)

John Lewis (5)

Kone (6)

Lloyds (3)

McDonalds (22)

McDonalds (22)

Media (130)

Medirest (12)

Merseyrail (27)

Mmp (6)

Morrisons (8)

National Express (8)

News International (34)

Northern Rock (34)

Picturehouse (6)

Press (68)

Print (8)

RBS (18)

Rail (306)

Remploy (51)

Retail (55)

Rolls Royce (9)

Rural (7)

Shipbuilding (7)

Shipping (3)

St Mungos (2)

St Mungos Broadway (4)

Tesco (75)

Thera (5)

Trains (70)

Tyneside Safety Glass (5)

Uber (15)

Ucs (1)

Unilever (15)

Virgin (30)

Winterbourne (3)

WorldCom (2)

Retail


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 1042, 15 May 2019: Take the wealth off the super-rich

Search site for keywords: Usdaw - Union - Socialist - Socialist Party - Trade union - Jeremy Corbyn - Retail - National Shop Stewards Network - Shop Stewards - Strike

Usdaw conference 2019

Usdaw united on need for fightback - now keep pressure on for action

Usdaw conference 2019, photo by David Owens

Usdaw conference 2019, photo by David Owens   (Click to enlarge)

Socialist Party members in Usdaw

The annual delegate meeting of retail and distribution union Usdaw had definitely turned a corner this year (see interim report 'Shop workers demand action on pay, jobs and the right' at socialistparty.org.uk).

This was helped by the departure of openly Blairite general secretary John Hannett. Paddy Lillis, his replacement, has tried to position himself as less rigid and more of a 'moderate', like Dave Prentis, the right-wing leader of public service union Unison.

The joint pressures of Deputy General Secretary Dave McCrossen, who identifies with the union's Broad Left group, and Socialist Party member Amy Murphy, Usdaw's newly elected president, are clearly having an effect.

Debates

The debates felt far less restricted this year with Amy in the chair. Under the previous president, Jeff Broome, crucial debates felt stage-managed, with pre-arranged delegates supporting the right-wing leadership's positions picked to speak.

This year's turnout for the Broad Left caucus was larger than last year, with around 30 attending. The Broad Left has met in several regions over the last year ahead of the union's divisional council meetings, with Socialist Party members such as Broad Left chair Iain Dalton being the main driving force.

Jeremy Corbyn addressed the union's conference, and re-committed to many good policies from the 'workers' charter' in his 2017 manifesto.

Unfortunately, he missed the opportunity to point a way forward on the major issues of the day. Corbyn could have used the platform to make his case for a workers' Brexit, and call for trade union action to force a general election and end the Tory government.

One of the starkest differences was that the conference floor and union leadership were largely in sync. Up until this year, motions committing Usdaw to action were largely opposed by the right-wing leadership.

For instance, in a naked attack on the Socialist Party, Hannett even resorted to calling the National Shop Stewards Network a Socialist Party 'front' to defeat a motion to affiliate last year.

This year, Scott Jones and Isai Priya of the Socialist Party put forward motions calling for "struggling" shops to open their books to trade union scrutiny, and calling on Usdaw to support the 'jobs and homes, not racism' campaign.

Not only were these propositions enthusiastically supported by the delegates, but the union's executive advocated support for both, as well as all the propositions reported in the last issue of the Socialist.

Action

However, it is one thing to agree to a position, and quite another to translate it into action. It is clear from the Morrisons pay offer that the union's negotiators aren't firmly putting the 10-an-hour position.

Usdaw's launch of the 'Save Our Shops' campaign and national days of action are important first steps. But the union has been very quiet on nationalisation of closing shops, despite a previous conference calling for that.

Usdaw members will need to continue to pressure the union bureaucracy to turn outwards and develop mass campaigns on these and other issues. By organising public campaign stalls and demonstrations, and preparing members to take strike action, the union could attract new membership and win the fight with the bosses and this utterly divided Tory government.







Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999