Phil's blog

Victimised reps forced to lobby their union in fight for support

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka holding a megaphone

Two union reps sacked by their employer for their trade union activities are lobbying the National Executive Committee of the PCS union tomorrow. In two very similar cases of union busting and victimisation, the union has failed to offer adequate support in quite different ways.

The 10 July public sector strike and going beyond formula

Tomorrow's coordinated strike by public sector workers looks set to be larger than the one on 30 Novermber 2011 that was billed as a public sector 'general strike.' But what does that mean, and are we in any better position now, industrially, than we were then?

10 July: a ‘season of struggle’?

An initial response to the announcement from the People’s Assembly that there will be a ‘mass strike’ on 10 July this year.

Leadership and the myth of apathy

Why aren't we rising up? Whether the 'we' in question is young people, the British people, or the poor, this is a question asked an awful lot by both mainstream and leftist commentators. Austerity, job cuts, pay freezes, workfare, poverty, food banks, police brutality, political corruption - it's all the rage, so why aren't we all enraged?

Nothing in common: unions as bosses

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary.

Some cursory thoughts on the contradictions created by trade unions, as the collective voice of organised workers, also being employers.

On union scabbing

Some quick thoughts on the need to respect picket lines and the challenge of the anti-strike laws and multi-union workplaces.

PCS hangs militant rep out to dry in HP dispute

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka

The Public and Commercial Services Union has in the past year worked to sabotage a dispute between its members at Hewlett Packard and their employer. This has culminated in the betrayal of one of their own reps, John Pearson, after he was unjustly sacked by the company.

People died for your right, not your obligation

2014 and 2015 are, in a row, two big years for electoralism. I'm already fed up with it.

Resolutions

General strike!

If there’s one thing, politically, that I want to happen in 2014 it’s for leftists to drop the demand for a 24 hour general strike from above and start building for an all out general strike from below.

Dan Hodges, mob mentality and the white working class

Dan Hodges has written an article for the Telegraph, using the horrific murder of Bijan Ebrahimi as an excuse to attack “the dark side of working class Britain.” This is an attempt to address the points he has side-stepped for the benefit of his polemic.

The Socialist Party have no right to demand one way solidarity from claimants

Following a debate on Twitter, several statements appeared online seeking to defend the PCS union over its position on welfare reform and sanctions. This is a response, particularly aimed at PCS Vice President John McInally’s piece for the Socialist Party.

Has PCS been outflanked to the left by a bosses’ union?

A look at two of many attacks faced by workers in HM Revenue & Customs. The contrasting responses from clerical grade union PCS and senior grade union ARC are worth noting, but not for the reason you might guess.

On Labour's pledge to axe the bedroom tax

Why the pledge from the Labour Party to axe the Bedroom Tax doesn't mean we've won and, if we take it at face value, could mean that we lose.

How do we fight privatisation?

Some quick thoughts on privatisation and how workers can effectively challenge it.

"Democracy in action" and other children's stories

A short post on the reactions to the Commons vote on Syria and the illusions of parliamentary democracy.

An extra cynical look at the People's Assembly

Some thoughts on the People’s Assembly. Dissecting its claims to be the birth of a movement and looking at what is really required to take on austerity and, more broadly, capitalism.

It's time to fight benefit sanctions - with or without PCS

Tensions between claimants and jobcentre workers over sanctions have been rising for some time. Now, with the Public and Commercial Services union stifling rank-and-file efforts to initiate a non-cooperation campaign, they threaten to boil over into active hostility. How can we avoid this – and resist sanctions?

Thatcher's death – some quick thoughts

Former Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died. The occasion has been the cause of both mourning and jubilation. What follows is a reflection on what this means in the context of the ongoing class struggle.

The need for a labour movement that can defy the law

The Public and Commercial Services Union has responded to threats of legal action by removing one section of its membership from the strike action due to take place on the 5 and 8 April. This shows the limits of legal trade unionism. It also underlines the urgent need for strong rank-and-file movements in the UK.

An injury to one – fighting the victimisation of workplace organisers

Victimisation, by bosses and the state, of those who try to organise in the workplace is nothing new. But recently a spate of high profile cases have focused wider attention on the issue.