What do the hard left faction stand for? Let’s have a look at their statement “what we stand for”.
A meeting was convened to discuss the lack of effective leadership throughout UNISON at National level in most union structures.
Leadership throughout the National union has been determined by democratic process, members have decided by voting who represents them at a national level, not the SWP/Socialist Party. Chairs and Vice Chairs are elected by National Committees again through democratic process, not the SWP/Socialist Party.
UNISON is meant to be a lay led union but currently the majority of the NEC, most service group national committees and the national Labour Link Committee are dominated by the internal aims of some national officers rather than led to the needs of UNISON members.
This is SWP/Socialist Party propaganda, those lay members who were elected by the members make the decisions on the National Committees within the rules of the union, paid officers of the union are employed to provide support and to undertake work as determined by the lay officials that make up the committees. All decisions are made through democratic process, paid officials do not have a vote.
This lack of effective leadership is one of the central factors behind the inability of the union to seriously challenge the continued destruction of our public services, the cut in our real earnings of over 25 % in the last 8 years and the escalating attacks on our pensions.
Again, SWP/Socialist Party propaganda. UNISON have battled hard against austerity within the confines of the law. The only way to defeat austerity is to win at the ballot box in a general election. The Socialist Party and SWP decided to put candidates under the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) banner, a pointless endeavour with most if not all candidates getting less votes that the Monster Raving Looney Party.
If we were to believe this propaganda, it would mean that UNISON has done nothing at all in fighting austerity; this of course is total nonsense. It would mean that hard working branches and activists have sat on their hands and supported the cuts, you all know that this is not the case. What the hard left faction mean, is that UNISON has not called for General Strike or supported the SWP/Socialist Party agenda. Their attitude is offensive and insulting to every activist in UNISON who work tirelessly to support their members and fight austerity.
Yet even where members voted for action on pay and pensions that action was undermined by prevarication, delay and the overwhelming desire of officers, supported by the majority of the national leadership of our union, to end the disputes at the earliest opportunity rather than seek real improvements for lay members.
More insulting words that do not reflect the truth. UNISON members voted on acceptance of pay offers, the majority of members did not want to take industrial action over pay and that is their decision to make. What the hard left faction conveniently fail to highlight, is that members are consulted throughout pay consultation and it is the members that make the decisions. The special conference that was held over Local Government Pay was a farce; it amounted to nothing more that the usual suspects bullying UNISON staff and senior lay officials. The cost of the conference could actually been better spent in fighting austerity rather than supporting the vanity of unison action.
That lack of real leadership has cost our members dear.
The ridiculous behaviour of the hard left faction has cost us dear, is the truth of the matter. How dare they accuse democratically elected members of not providing leadership; this coming from a group of people who dare not fart without the say so of their SWP/Socialist Party masters.
Activists who seek to challenge this position are increasingly threatened with individual disciplinary action to silence them and warn off others.
Anyone who breaks the rules of the union may be subject to disciplinary process as a result, the suggestion that threats are made to those that follow the mantra of the hard left faction is untrue, if this were the case, most of them would have been expelled from the union some time ago. UNISON operates under collective responsibility, but the hard left faction do not support democratic process or collective responsibility if it does not suit their aims.
Our UNISON democracy is circumvented in some ways and grossly abused in other instances. UNISONaction Broad Left believes this situation cannot continue and the union needs to be cleaned up.
This is rich coming from people who don’t actually support democracy or collective responsibility. What is really telling, is that they offer no examples to support this claim. The suggestion is that the union is corrupt and that democratically elected officials and paid members of staff need to be expelled to make way for their SWP/Socialist Party pals. We have heard this language a thousand times, such as Trump’s “drain the swamp” mantra, used to vilify any opposition.
To do that means electing an alternative leadership throughout our structures. UNISONaction Broad Left is composed of a wide range of activists of different views on some issues but who are working together to bring about positive change in our union to benefit our members.
Here we get to meat of their aims, their reason for existence; quite simply they want to take over the union. They seek to usher in their own people, backed by the SWP/Socialist Party so they can use the resources of the union. They have long tried to break the link with the Labour Party, calling for more diverse use of the political funds, well I think we all know what that means!
Wherever possible UNISONaction Broad Left will seek to get agreed candidates to stand for all national lay posts in future with the aim of electing a new national lay leadership to bring about the changes needed.
So who will agree the candidates? You? Me? The members? No; they will carefully select the people they believe best serve their aims. It would be interesting to know how many candidates on their slate are either members of the SWP/Socialist Party or associated with them. Probably worth asking that question if they contact you. What are the changes needed? They don’t tell you reader, because they know you would not support them.
If UNISON is to even try and fight to represent our members interests there is no option but to change our national leadership who year after year have failed our members.
This is an insult to hard working activists and officials who battle every day in support of UNISON members. I have seen strikes, campaigns and successes through the political funds over the last eight years. I have seen dedicated members and staff fighting on the frontlines against this government and its ideological austerity. UNISON members and activists deserve better than the hard left faction political throwbacks who choose to ignore the successes that the great union that is UNISON have achieved.
Do not be fooled by these shysters who attack the very fabric of your union, they will not support UNISON’s members, they will not work in a democratic way. They are no better than the drunk who hurls abuse at passers by as they drown in their own intoxication and inadequacy. To give this faction oxygen is to deny our union breath. They are about themselves and their masters not our members or our values.
Thanks for reading.