the Disillusioned kid: Union dues
| Email | Home | Linkage | Profile |

Friday, March 24, 2006

Union dues

Next Tuesday will see what's being billed as the biggest industrial action in the UK since the General Strike of 1926 with perhaps a million public sector workers (including yours truly) coming out in defence of their pensions. Perhaps the most prominent union in the campaign has been Unison. It would have looked pretty strange if on the one hand they had been at the forefront of a camapign against the incumbent Labour government, while on the other they had been campaigning for them in the forthcoming local elections. Strange, but not unexpected given the track record of trade unions and their relationships with Labour. Fortunately, however, somebody has seen sense: the union confirmed today that it had suspended camapaigning for the party until the dispute is resolved.

This is great news. Given the much hyped resurgence of the Tories, Labour have got to be worried about their chances in this election. Losing the support of the country's largest union will hopefully put the wind up them, which after all is surely what unions are for. (Not that you'd believe it from the guff they sent me with my application pack which promised cheap flowers and priority car hire in exchange for membership, as if I was signing up to a loyalty card.)

All being well, this will add even greater distance to the growing chasm between the Labour Party and union bureaucracies. For too long the leadership of the union movement has had its collective head stuffed up Labour's rectum. The last few years have seen glimmers of light and hints of a genuine break, notably the RMT's decision to allow branches to affliate to other political parties. Unfortunately, I think this can only go so far. Modern trade unions, with their emphasis on negotiating as "representatives" of their members can serve as a buffer between workers and their bosses, an effect exacerbated by the tendency for union leaders to become immersed in the same murky waters our political masters swim through. Nevertheless, in lieu of any organisation capable of waging the class war more effectively, I think there is a compelling case for critical engagement. Who else is going to fight to make sure we get to retire before we die?

Hat-tip: Lenny.

File Under: , , , , ,

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Side Projects

Carnival of Anarchy
The Peace Pipe
UK Watch Blog


Against the Current
Culture hits and gendered bits
Daniel Randall
In The Water
Mike Wood
On The Barricades
Pizarro's Sword
Space Cat Rocket Ship
Surveillant Assemblage
TashCamUK FotoPage
The Naked Lunch
The Peace Pipe
The World of the Dynamite Lady


Anarchoblogs Blog
Arte & Lingua
Barker in Valencia
Blood & Treasure
Bombs and Shields
Born at the Crest of the Empire
Chase me ladies...
Chicken Yoghurt
Craig Murray
Dead Men Left
Disreputable Lazy Aliens
Empire Notes
Friends of Al Jazeera
Global Guerillas
Guerillas in the Midst
I Blame the Patriachy
Informed Comment
Janine Booth
Lenin's Tomb
Life of Riley Blog
Media Watch Watch
Neil Shakespeare
NO2ID NewsBlog
One Hump or Two?
Otto's Random Thoughts
Pitch In For Uzbekistan
Run over by the truth
Solidarity With Iraqi Workers
Shut Up You Fat Whiner!
Sudan: Passion of the Present
Talk Politics
The Anthropik Network
The Daily (Maybe)
The Devil's Kitchen
The Disillusioned
The f-word
The Head Heeb
The Killing Train
The Revenge of Winston Smith
The Socialist Unity Blog
The Wicked Truth
Theory of Power
Things I Don't Have Time For
This (Fresh) Gringo
This Is My Truth
Thumping the Tub
Time The Dreaded Enemy
UK Watch Blog
UK Poli Blogs
Under The Same Sun
What Fresh Hell Is This?
Where is Raed? (RIP)
Who Are You to Accuse Me?
Words and Rocks
Z-Net Blog


Asbo Community Space
Eastside Climate Action
Faslane 365
No Borders
Nottingham Student Peace Movement
Refugee Forum
Stop the War
Sumac Centre
The Demo Project

Ivory Towers

Anarchist Studies Network
Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice
Postanarchism Clearinghouse


Anarchist FAQ
Chagos Discussion List
Chagos Support Forums
Electronic Intifada
Future of Iraq Portal
Index of Political Blogs
Indymedia UK
Iraq Occupation Focus
Refuser Solidarity Network
Socialist Unity Network
The New Standard
UK Chagos Support Association
UK Watch
Weekly Worker

The Progressive Blog Alliance

Register here to join the PBA.