Or maybe not. But still, this newly published motion to the TUC’s congress next month from the Communication Workers Union is worth a look ( motion P84, for anoraks):
“Congress recognises the lack of adequate
representation at political level for the members
of affiliated unions. Congress notes that New
Labour, as currently constituted, is now failing to
attract the support of our members and that its
vote at the 2009 European Election reached an
historic low. The present Government’s policy of
continuing privatisation, cuts in Government
spending and failure to remove the anti-trade
union laws is unlikely to change this in the near
Congress therefore calls on the General Council
to convene, at the earliest opportunity, a
conference of all affiliated unions to consider
how to achieve effective political representation
for our members.”
Last year the TUC was overshadowed by the creation of a Trade Union Co-ordinating Group made up of left-wing unions, none affiliated to Labour except the BFAWU bakers’ union. Despite being overseen by Labour’s John McDonnell (or perhaps because?) it was seen as a challenge to the authority and power of Labour’s gang of 16 affiliates.
Now there is a call to create a new group… only this time they’ll all be Labour affiliates. If it happens (“which it won’t”, whispers the ghost of congresses past in my ear) it’ll be a lot more of a challenge than the TUCG. While I’m not expecting this motion to pass, it’s interesting that the CWU leadership let it through. What they have to say about it, I’m waiting to hear – this week’s Tribune should have the details.
More on the TUC tomorrow if I get the chance.
Hat-tip: Jon Rogers