The behaviour of Britain’s two biggest revolutionary socialist organisations where they have trade-union positions is coming to resemble more that of the old Communist Party than any of the best elements of the Trotskyist tradition both the SWP and SP claim affinity with.
Broad lefts and rank-and-file groups
Extracts from an AWL leaflet distributed at a regional meeting of the National Shop Stewards Network, held in Glasgow on 1 December.
A member of RMT’s LU Engineering branch explains why it has relaunched the CFDU (Campaign for a Fighting Democratic Union)
In Leeds, a local public sector unity committee was set up in June. It drew over 100 to a launch rally on 12 July, with speakers from Unison Local Government and Health, NUT, CWU, PCS and UCU.
At TUC conference motions were passed calling for coordinated action, and use was even found for the old slogan that “unity is strength”.
Activists from half a dozen RMT branches met recently to discuss problems within the union and how to get it to fight more effectively for members.
While recognising that RMT is better than many other unions, the discussion identified several problems - an unwillingness to stand up to the anti-union laws, a particular example being the cancellation of the London Underground rule books dispute; the bureaucracy being out-of-touch with members and workplaces; and a tendency to dip into strike action then quickly back out.
Tubeworker has received this invitation, and will be popping along. See you there?
Campaign for a fighting and democratic union [CFDU]
The conference on 7 July of the Shop Stewards' Network attracted 270 activists - 190 delegates (people who ‘represented workers’ ie. reps, stewards etc...) with voting rights and 80 observers (union members and others). Of those attending, large portions were from the organised left, with members of the Socialist Party (SP) in preponderance.
Supporters of the rank and file railworkers’ bulletin Off The Rails (OTR) met in Birmingham on May 5th. Under the title “Making our unions fit to fight”, the meeting brought together activists from various disputes to share experiences and discuss how what we learned from each other could be used to make the unions more effective and membership led.