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

Monday, 23 May 2011

The union fightback - bark or bite?

The Daily Telegraph responds to last week’s unanimous decision of PCS conference to hold a ballot on national strike action by posing the question – is union talk about a fight back against attacks on jobs, pay and pensions more bark than bite?http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/8529350/Britains-unions-may-struggle-to-find-support-for-a-summer-of-discontent.html

It is a key question and soon to be tested as the PCS and some teaching unions mobilise membership support for a day of strike action on 30 June and beyond. It is important to us all that this first wave of action is successful and should be given maximum support from UNISON branches and regions.

There is a general consensus in UNISON that action will be necessary and should be taken later in the year when pension negotiations in particular are concluded. However even that medium term timetable requires preparations to begin for balloting given the uniquely huge numbers of members involved in UNISON’s ballot when compared to sister unions.

The Telegraph is right in that a an effective fightback will require unions to bite as well as bark. But at all times remembering, to paraphrase Freud, that dogs bite their enemies not their friends.