Socialist Voice, July 2003, Trade Union reports

Trade Union Reports

Rail workers begin break with Labour

DELEGATES TO the rail union, the RMT, backed an historic rule change that weakens the union's links with New Labour and opens the door to affiliation to other parties. The rule change does not specify what other organisations the union could support, but General Secretary, Bob Crow, during the debate commented that he wanted the RMT to "proudly" affiliate to the Scottish Socialist Party and others who have broken with Labour. He said he wanted to see the establishment of a class-based party "that puts the boot into big business".Other delegates referred to the success of the Socialist Party in getting Councillors elected in Lewisham and Coventry. The decision is a step in the right direction, although some delegates were critical that the rule change did not go further and break the link with the Labour Party completely.

Civil service left landslide

THERE HAS been a decisive shift to the left in elections to the National Executive of the PCS, the largest civil service union in Britain. The "democracy" slate won 34 seats on the Executive to the right's nine. The majority of the "democracy" slate are members of the "Left unity" group and seven are members of the Socialist Party (our sister party in Britain). Socialist Party member, Janice Godrich, was re-elected as President with an increased majority of 23,081 against 15,199 for the right wing candidate. This reverses the position where the right wing had a majority and opens the prospect of the PCS conducting a fightback against Blair's attacks on public services.

Social workers maintain action

NIPSA's SOCIAL workers have rejected the Department's response to their regrading claim. They rejected it on the grounds that the Department has attempted to link a legitimate claim with acceptance of "Agenda for Change".

By Tanya Killen

Social workers have no contractual obligations to enter into "Agenda for Change" and feel angry at the transparent attempt of New Labour to force them into this.

Social workers are determined that the two issues should be decoupled and that the Department should deal with the regarding claim in its own right.

NIPSA's social workers have decided that if the Department does not make an acceptable offer to resolve the dispute, they will escalate the ongoing industrial action and introduce a ban on all new referrals except life or limb (emergencies) from 1 September.

This will send a clear message to the Department that we are prepared to continue and escalate the fight until we get an acceptable settlement.

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