PERCEPTION! a confusion of facts

Here we go again, the hard left faction making a mountain out of a molehill or rather a reality out of a perception. The latest lunacy from unison action broad left is a ridiculous attack on the perception many people have of trade unions and which are perpetuated by anti trade union politicians (otherwise known as the government).

So let’s be clear what we are talking about; the dictionary definition “perception”- the way in which something is regarded, understood, or interpreted. The hard left faction definition “perception” – this is the truth, the reality, the actual facts.

What they are saying? This was posted on their twitter feed, “There is so much wrong with it. It denigrates battles fought by previous generations. It implies that militant struggle is only the property of men. It erases Grunwick. It ignores the current battles in Glasgow & Birmingham. It’s shameful”.

It would be so easy to insult their crass stupidity on this matter, but I will refrain; a bit… They actually prove the point of the caption in their comment. This is the “perception” P E R C E P T I O N… For crying out loud!

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Of course perception does not reflect the facts as it is based on assumption. Do a google search for NUPE strike and you will see many sisters involved in strike action, so I am surprised that they reference Grunwick (http://www.striking-women.org/module/striking-out/grunwick-dispute) and how “perception could erase a well reported documented dispute by Asian women. Also worth remembering that they lost the dispute, something the hard left faction claims as a success.

This is fact not perception. If the only pictures of strike are of the Miners Strike or Longbridge etc. Then your “perception” will be exactly as described. Of course the real reason for this faux outrage is to have another go at UNISON, their favourite target. They of course know best, they of course can run the union better. The Grunwick dispute ran for two years, can you imagine any public service workers taking sustained industrial action for that length of time? Also worth noting that the Grunwick strikes were not in any of UNISON’s partner unions.

As with all things, the hard-left faction’s ideology is rooted in the 1970’s when life was a little simpler economically for working people. The law enabled trade unions to act in a more militant way and to offer support in a very different way. The world has moved on and deindustrialisation, globalisation, technology and the nature of debt has changed communities for ever. The economic stresses and strains on modern workers is completely different.

I am told that a number of people that associate themselves with unison action are independently wealthy, so they would be able to survive the financial impact of industrial action far better than the people they encourage to fight their politically charged disputes.

As I have said before, I am not anti strike, it has its place and when used effectively can be successful. The hard left faction wants strikes all of the time, it is there first line of attack. Well let me tell you, I have been involved in organising industrial action, I have taken part in industrial action and the work involved does not finish when the dispute has ended. It can take a lot of effort, time and pain to rebuilt a relationship with you members and your employer. Funny how these people are never around to help with that heavy load. The move onto the next dispute so they can make themselves look good and massage their own egos. I have seen it many times, they just abandon the members and the activists.

The childlike affectation of unison action broad left is to be pitied, how sad it is that adults can behave in a way that is detrimental to our members and our union. Their SWP/Socialist party fuelled outdated fantasy politics is tired and impotent and best left in the 1970’s where it belongs. The absurd dick swinging and pissing contests is pathetic, they really need to grow up and put away their childish fantasies.

The piece in the UNISON activist magazine identifies that we need to wipe away the perceptions of what modern trade unionism is about. It seeks to encourage members to get involved and get active. It most certainly is not about reinforcing stereotypes or attacking disputes of the past. UNISON recognises that trade unionism has had to change, that our tools have had to be adapted to deal with 21st century situations. People have changed and so have their needs. This latest attempt to rubbish UNISON is most likely out of fear, because the hard left faction know its days are numbered.

Thanks for reading.

GI Jayne

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