Feb 07 2014

THE WIDER SIGNIFICANCE OF ‘AGENDA FOR CHANGE’ IN THE NHS

Performance-related pay has become a central part go the employers’ armoury to lower pay and undermine union organisation. We are publishing the article below from the Anarchist Federation outlining the intentions of the government’s Agenda for Change in the NHS

 

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Representatives of the approximately 20 trade unions who collectively bargain for workers within the NHS have been negotiating at length with the pay cartel. As it stands the deal on the table to “protect” Agenda for Change in England (Scotland and Wales are not affected) is:

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Oct 28 2013

THE CASE FOR THE INDEPENDENT WORKERS UNION – OUR RIGHT TO ORGANISE

In the aftermath of the UNITE leadership’s capitulation at Grangemouth, a key issue socialists need to address is that of how to effectively organise workers. The RCN and the commune organised the 3rd Global Commune conference – ‘Trade Unions- Are They Fit For Purpose’ (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2011/02/11/report-of-the-third-global-commune-event/– in which a number of approaches were considered. These included rank and file organisation within existing unions (see Jerry Hick’s response to Grangemouth at http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2013/10/28/after-grangemouth-what-now-for-the-left-in-scotland/) and the possibility of organising independent unions. This article from the Industrial Workers of Great Britain provides a robust defence of this position in the light of attacks from Max Watson, UNISON  NEC member.

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Apr 09 2013

JERRY HICKS – UNITE GENERAL SECRETARY ELECTION UPDATE

JERRY HICKS – UNITE GENERAL SECRETARY ELECTION UPDATE

thGeorge Osborne said ‘Faster deeper’ cuts he meant it. Our side calls for strike action against those cuts – but do we mean it?

The announcement that Unite, is calling for a 24-hour general strike against austerity measures is very welcome. A serious program of strikes to defeat the Con Dem government is long overdue and a programme of coordinated strike action is the most effective way to stop them

The 1st April cuts to housing and other benefits will already be bringing more fear, hunger, debt and homelessness across the UK.

20% of the population is in poverty, but will bear 40% of all cuts. Disabled people, 8% of the population will bear 29% of all cuts. In the meantime, tax fraud remains 15 times higher than benefit fraud and the Tories callously blame the poor for their own plight. Demonising workers who they have thrown on the scrap heap.

The Con Dems can only get away with these barbaric measures because our side refuses to organise a real fight that would give people hope of an alternative. Unite must take some responsibility for this lack of effective resistance. The continuing lack of action feeds the Con Dems confidence to widen their attacks on ordinary working people.

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Mar 25 2013

RED BAITING AND SLURS

The SWP Central Committee has tried to draw a hard line between recent events inside the party and the wider Socialist and Trade Union movement. The SWP CC has made two arguments to defend the indefensible. The first is that  affairs inside the SWP are a purely internal matter,  and of no concern to other Socialists or trade unionists. Secondly, that those Socialists who do raise the issue in public are not living ‘in the real world’ where nobody cares about such ‘small matters’.

However, the issue has been raised in the election for  UNITE’s General Secretary – the largest union in these islands (UNITE also covers the whole of Ireland). The SWP CC can hardly claim anymore that the party’s internal affairs are not an issue ‘in the real world’, nor that it is a ‘small matter’. The SWP CC’s  behaviour has been raised in a particularly despicable manner by Broad Left incumbent, Len McCluskey. Below, we post the reply by Rank and File challenger, Jerry Hicks.

Furthermore, other trade unionists do have a real interest in questioning  the indefensible behaviour of the SWP CC. If anyone examines the signatories of the statement of SWP members in support of the CC, they will find that quite a few invoke their particular trade union membership, e.g. BECTU, BMA, EIS, FBU, GMB, NUJ, NUS, NUT, PCS, PROSPECT, UCU, UNISON, UNITE, USDAW. If the sort of allegations raised in the SWP were to be raised in any trade union against one of its officials, and swept under the carpet in a similar manner, there would quite rightly be outrage. Socialists should apply higher, not lower standards in their conduct, than those found elsewhere. 

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