The PCS tries to bring the TUC together, again

A friend of mine recently e-mailed to ask me for information about the Public and Commercial Services Union, which with over 300,000 members is the fifth biggest in the UK. In my reply I said: “As the TUC congress approaches, you can expect [general secretary Mark] Serwotka to be at the forefront of demands for concerted action to fight the Treasury’s efficiency programme and pay restraint.”

Lo and behold, I was right. A motion to the TUC congress (too long to copy and paste here; have a look at motion p49 on the draft agenda if you’re interested) from the PCS is callng on unions, under the leadership of the TUC, to band together in support of “protection of public services and an end to privatisation; ending the systematic tax evasion by corporations and the current tax privileges of the wealthy; opposing wage cuts” and more.

I don’t think it will lead to anything much. At last year’s TUC there was a strong motion passed on co-ordinated strike action against low pay which came to nothing. The year before there was another motion passed on co-ordinated action (the word ‘strike’ did not appear). Again, nothing. The PCS is keen to link up with other unions; other unions less so.

This isn’t really about ideology. What’s being demanded here is not revolutionary socialism. It’s closer to Labour party policy circa 1994 when John Smith died and the age of New Labour was ushered in. As far as privatisation goes, Unison are with them on that one; but they’ve never shown any willingness to link up with the PCS over it. Rivalry and suspicion between unions is likely to be factor, as is fear among Unite, Unison and other Labour-affiliated unions of damaging a Labour government.


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One Response to “The PCS tries to bring the TUC together, again”

  1. del Says:

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