It is obviously welcome as Robin Sivapalan reports (Solidarity 3/139) that the campaign against immigration controls is being taken into the trade union movement, given the way these laws are used against the struggles of migrant workers on the Tube and elsewhere.
If anything sums up New Labour as a Government for the rich, a cuckoo in the labour movement nest, it has to be their year-on-year drive to keep public sector wages below the rate of inflation.
Unbelievably, it looks as if the pay strikes by civil servants (PCS) and teachers (NUT) in November could be on different days.
Perhaps the most positive development at the TUC congress was the formation of a new Trade Union Co-ordinating Group, led by left-wing MP John McDonnell and bringing together the RMT, PCS, NUJ and FBU
Increasingly in the Civil service, and probably in the public sector generally, there is a move to fragment jobs and functions i.e. to introduce further division of labour.
As we go to press (20 August 2008) a 24-hour strike action by local government workers, members of UNISON, UNITE, and the GMB is taking place.
CIVIL SERVICE JOB SECURITY
PCS members are currently being balloted on a job security agreement struck with the Civil Service. This agreement, called the protocols, is the result of long running union agitation over job security. Members should vote in favour, but be clear as to limitations and weaknesses.
By a civil servant
• TEACHERS: The Executive of the National Union of Teachers on 29 May considered alternative timetables for a ballot for discontinuous strike action to continue the pay campaign.
Pay will be the major issue before this year’s PCS national conference. Given the general pay squeeze across the public sector and high inflation rate everybody expects that civil servants will get below inflation offers;