UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Ultra left out of touch with central dynamics of unions‏

An insightful Morning Star article by Gregor Gall looks at industrial action strategies in response to job cuts and austerity measures in Britain: http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/97779

Gall identifies co-ordinated and generalised strike action where unions are in dispute in the public sector, however for this to happen ‘workers need to be in dispute in the first place. There is a job of work to be done here.’

Already, contrary to Gall’s view that none of the union’s have been willing to contemplate strike action, local disputes are beginning to emerge (as in the case of UNISON’s industrial action in North Devon, Lancashire and Swindon), and sooner or later all public services unions will be required to respond to a renewed attack on public sector pension rights.

However, Gall is right to have no truck with the demands of ultra left groups for a general strike (SWP) or a public services general strike (SP). The general strike demand being ‘so far ahead of its time to be verging on the ridiculous right now, and testifies to the SWP and Socialist Party being quite out of touch with the central dynamics of the unions at present’.

Slogans are no substitute for strategy and are a diversion from what needs to be done. Instead it’s time to step up campaigning, educational and organising work in workplaces to give members confidence that collective action can roll back the attacks on jobs, pay and pensions.