Unions & politics

Three big disputes

Author: 

Bob Carnegie

The most important industrial disputes that I’ve been involved in were the 1985 SEQEB (South East Queensland Electricity Board) dispute; the maritime dispute of 1998; and the 63-day Queensland Children’s Hospital construction workers’ dispute of 2012, after which I had a long battle against both criminal charges and litigation for civil damages.

An interview with Bob Carnegie in 2015 about the most important industrial disputes he was involved in, the 1985 South East Queensland Electricity Board dispute; the maritime dispute of 1998; and the 63-day Queensland Children’s Hospital construction workers’ dispute of 2012.

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The political journey to Trotskyism

Author: 

Bob Carnegie

I always had a strong underlying humanist bias. I tended not to view things not just from an ideological viewpoint, as was the rule in the SPA [Socialist Party of Australia, a “hardline” pro-USSR split-off from the Communist Party of Australia]. My moral break from authoritarian state-capitalism, or Stalinism, which still infects the Australian left and the Australian trade union movement to a much larger degree than people realise, took a long time. I would say it took from 1979, when I joined the SPA, to the final break in about 1994.

Bob Carnegie described his political itinerary, from young cadre of the Stalinist movement through Maritime Union official to anti-Stalinist revolutionary, in an interview with Workers’ Liberty in October 1999.

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Fighting for workers’ rights

Author: 

Bob Carnegie and Martin Thomas

Below is an article from Workers’ Liberty Australia, jointly written by Bob and Martin Thomas, setting out ideas at the beginning of the battle against WorkChoices, in 2005.

In 2005, John Howard set out plans to bring in anti-union legislation more drastic than former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher ever attempted in one instalment, and arguably more drastic than the sum total of the whole long series of laws introduced by Thatcher’s government through the 1980s.

An jointly written by Bob and Martin Thomas setting out ideas at the beginning of the battle against WorkChoices, in 2005.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore and Gemma Short

As Solidarity goes to press, the annual general meeting of the National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport workers (RMT) is debating a series of motions at its annual general meeting on its relationship with the Labour Party. The RMT, whose predecessor union helped found Labour, effectively had its affiliation cancelled by the New Labour leadership in 2004, after the RMT leadership refused to censure Scottish branches which wanted to back candidates of the Scottish Socialist Party, then an active and growing force.

Will the RMT reaffiliate to Labour?; RMT votes against free movement; defend the Picturehouse four!; Lewisham council shames Labour; outsourcing round-up; Unison conference wakes up.

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RMT branches call for Labour reaffiliation

Following Labour's surge in the general election, several branches of the Rail, Maritime, and Transport workers union (RMT) have called for the union to reaffiliate to the party, in emergency motions to the union's AGM.

RMT, whose predecessor union helped found Labour, had its affiliation effectively severed in 2004 after the national union refused to prevent its Scottish branches backing candidates of the Scottish Socialist Party.

Following Labour's surge in the general election, two branches of the Rail, Maritime, and Transport workers union (RMT) have called for the union to reaffiliate to the party, in emergency motions to the union's AGM.

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Youth vote can beat Tories

Author: 

Editorial

“If 38% of voters genuinely go for pro-IRA anti-nuclear pro-mass-nationalisation Corbyn, UK voters are no longer mature enough for democracy.”

The Twitter comment from Andrew Lilico of the right-wing Institute of Economic Affairs sums up how a section of the British ruling class views even the outside chance of a Corbyn victory on 8 June.

Policies in the Labour manifesto have brought Labour denunciation or derision from the wealthy and their ideologues, and a big lead over the Tories among younger voters. The outcome on 8 June depends on how many of those younger voters get to the polls.

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PCS conference votes to back freedom of movement

A report of PCS conference by a delegate.

PCS, the civil service union, held it′s national conference in Brighton 23-25 May.

Workers’ Liberty supporters, organised as part of the left-opposition faction, "Independent Left" within the union were delegates. Going into conference with victories in the NEC and Bargaining Group Executive elections.

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Bob Crow: an unapologetic socialist

Author: 

Janine Booth

Janine Booth reviews Bob Crow: socialist, leader, fighter — A political biography, by Gregor Gall (Manchester University Press)


As the first book about Bob Crow published since his untimely death three years ago, Gregor Gall’s political biography of Crow provides us with an opportunity to review his life and his time in the railworkers’ union NUR and its successor RMT, to highlight the key reasons for his effectiveness and impact, and to examine the limits of those.

A review of Bob Crow: socialist, leader, fighter — A political biography, by Gregor Gall (Manchester University Press).

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US socialism and organising against Trump

Jason Schulman, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, co-editor of New Politics, and author of Neoliberal Labour Governments and the Union Response, discusses the challenges facing the US left under Donald Trump.

Jason Schulman is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, co-editor of New Politics, and author of Neoliberal Labour Governments and the Union Response. He spoke to Solidarity about the challenges facing the US left under Donald Trump.

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