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

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Unions have vision for jobs, growth and prosperity

A couple of days at the Labour Party Conference proved to be frustrating. The spectacle of a Labour leadership so cowed by the Tory attacks in the right wing media that they failed to provide any articulation of what they were really about.

And yet in recent weeks the party leadership have attacked trade unions for seeking to legitimately ballot our members for strike action because, unlike them, our leadership does know what we are about. An ironic if not depressing situation.

Even the ultra right within new labour are starting to describe this lack of vision as ‘white noise’. An apt description for the non-committal, policy-lite drivel of Ed the Moribund.

The trade union fringe events were bursting with enthusiasm in articulating a vision for the alternative. Len McCluskey of Unite said it was time to learn that we can’t cut our way out of a recession. Dave Prentis in an excellent speech to the joint trade union fringe on Monday night called on the Labour leadership to stand shoulder to shoulder with our members who were prepared to fight attacks, having reminded delegates earlier that day that in 1888 Match Girls were told not to fight, not to stand up for their rights. An impassioned reminder that ours is a moral and just fight.

The Labour leadership would do well to listen to the trade unions and the common sense vision for jobs, growth and prosperity – not capitulation to the neo-liberal madness that has led us once again to the brink of collapse.

Anna Rose