Friday, 1 July 2011

Unions are a disgrace (for promoting Labour)

Hat Tip today to Grangetown Jack  (Ian Titherington) for reporting that although Regional Plaid AM Bethan Jenkins turned up at the TUC rally in Swansea to support the striking workers. She was told that no political speakers would be allowed, only for Labour politicians to be allowed to speak later. .As Ian points points Betham Jenkins  has....

"a consistent record of speaking out on trade union issues, refused to cross the Assembly picket line along with all other Plaid AMs (and MPs in Westminster-shame on you Labour MPs) and was keen to show her party support for the striking workers. She was told that no political speakers would be allowed, only for Labour politicians to be allowed to speak later. This was in contrast to Cardiff and Newport, where Plaid AMs did speak (Labour didn't bother to turn up in Newport as their MPs were too busy crossing the Westminster picket line-on Miliband's orders)".
I sahare with Ian his frustration at the Union Leaders whose loyalty to  the Labour Party seems to override their loyalty to their members .

The Ban on Bethan  and the inclusion of a Labour speaker could be said to be worse because "None of the Unions taking industrial action yesterday were affiliated to the Labour Part"

In February  this year I took part in a demonstration organised by Unison against the draconian attack on the workforce of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council by the Labour Council .here.

The event was attended by members of numerous Parties and organisation,but in the ticket only rally in the Municipal afterwards, the only member of a political party that was allowed to speak to us or it was the then Labour's Candidate for the Pontypridd seat Mick Antoniw.W ho managed to address us on a protest on the attack on the work force of Labour controlled R.C.T. without once mentioning them. A remarkable feat and it was a generous audience who allowed him to do this.

In other words the Unions used the event to attack a Labour council for its appalling treatment of their workforce to promote the Labour candidate in what was then the forthcoming  May Assembly Election.
Why the Unions behave like this.

Well we must admit that the long term ties with Labour Party do exist , and many  members still see the mantra of Labour Good-Tories Bad. despite years of evidence that Labour in power has done little for the rights of Union members and (dare I say  I use the words) "The Working Class". All the evidence shows that even  if Labour had remained in power after the 2010 election , then they would have implemented similar changes to the Pension schemes of public sector workers and we would have seen a similar strike against a Labour Government and yet the Unions, would have behaved exactly the same way to other Parties that supported the striking workers and last May Union Office,s and their members contributions would have been used to back a part that betrays its own supporters,

But the main reason is that the majority of Trade Union leaders (except in the past some Communists )  have always  see this a career that will see them moving up in the echelons  of the Labour Party with tier eyes eventually on a safe leader seat   in the Commons or for some a comfortable retirement in the House of Lords.

I suppose some Plaid members would like to the see the transfer of  some Union support via the backing of  Plaid MP,AM and Candidates, together with major  contributions to that  party

But that would not change the problem because the Unions should not use their money to back any candidate who after all are there to represent their constituents.

Individual politicians should back the Unions because they believe in their cause not because they believe in their money and political parties should do so with policies being prepared to lose the endorsement of Unions when they fail to do so.

All the evidence is that the Links with the Labour Part benefits only that  Party and the silence of much of the Trade Union Movement in the 13 years of New Labour whose polices (and indeed contempt) for   workers rights were not to dissimilar to the Tories shows this. New Labour did virtually nothing to indo the Anti Union Laws of Margaret Thatcher  and any legislation that backed the rights of the workers came fro rullings feonm the European Union.

The millions of pounds the Unions  use to back the Labour Party its long failed attempt at influencing its policies should be used To increase it membership , Train shop stewards and other elected officials in negotiation skills and employment law and provide legal services to its members.

Sadly I  can't see anything changing we will still see ourselves marching behind banners to a rallying point to rallies where a young firebrand Labour politician (Neil Kinnock 11?) will tell us that only by voting in a Labour government will we get our "New Jerusalem" and who in a few years time a s a Labour Minister will be denouncing "Outmoded Union Practice" but we live in hope.


  1. Best for Plaid members and supporters to stop paying money to unions. I'm going to resign from PCS.

  2. Anon 18:47

    Despite my comments I still believe everyone should join a Union and try and work within them and of course PCS are not affiliated to Labour anyway.

    If the links remain then members should have the choice to opt in to donate to the Labour Party. It should not be a case of opting out.

  3. Being slightly retarded yes I know, and a cripple yes I know, OK then I'm paraplegic, I've been in a union since the age of fifteen, 1966 and I've been in labour from 1963 until I left in 2005 with Purnell talking about the sick and the disabled.

    So I was at the meeting in which we demanded that the GMB disaffiliate from labour sadly the top table did not want this, and we ended up saying we would only back MP's who back the Unions mantra.

    Sadly last year i asked my Union to use the legal service, to be told the Union really is about working people, ah well suspect in the end Union are political bodies and the only chance of becoming an MP is to be educated at a private school go to University gain some work experience at Union or working for an MP get down lick the major players shoes, or in fact stay with a Union give millions end up within the house of Lords.

    \Rant over,

  4. "Best for Plaid members and supporters to stop paying money to unions. I'm going to resign from PCS."

    PCS spent the best part of 13 years campaigning against the Labour government and doesn't pay a penny to Labour.