Union elections

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R Totale's picture
R Totale
Joined: 15-02-18
Nov 9 2020 17:49

Blimey, it's not every day you get schooled on anti-electoralism by the SPGB. wink I suppose those numbers are especially notable given how I think of the CWU as being one of the UK unions with the most engaged membership, like they got a 75.9% turnout in that ballot from last year. Anyway, I suppose that if no-one else cares about this stuff then that's a pretty good reason for why I never really developed a well-thought-out opinion on it before.

Joined: 20-04-08
Nov 10 2020 00:46

The reason for such a low turn-out and lack of confidence in either candidate to replace Alan Johnson was the capitulation of the union to the Employers Agenda after what members considered was an effective resistance by both their official and unofficial industrial action. A lot of sacrifice for very little gain and the fact that discontent and unrest within Royal Mail continued demonstrated the suspicion of a sell-out was well-grounded. I've been years away from the job (and out of the country) so what present feelings and attitudes are, i have very little idea.

I personally now view that much of the militancy in Scotland at the time turned out to be engineered in a careerist power-play by Keggie with a number of local branch officials duped. Our walk-outs was more to give Keggie leverage against Johnson than aimed against the bosses.

Postal workers have despite being uniformed civil servants in the past have always had a radical streak. It was the only union to endorse GDH Cole's guild socialism since already being employees of the state they understood that nationalisation, state-ownership and state-control being pushed by other unions were dead-ends for industrial democracy. Another form of workers control was required.

Joined: 2-01-07
Nov 10 2020 12:21

A strong possibility is that this supposed low voting is part of the 'con'. (You having 'confidence' in the authority running the election to be neutral. When you in reality you don't really know. ) An illusion created as part of the ballot rigging. As part of the rigging - the opponent/s of the incumbent official/s - in reality has a much higher vote - but the 'excess' ballots/votes end up in the authority running the election shredding machine before the 'official' ballot count. This sort of thing is extremely likely to occur here as part of the 'con' affecting elections for important positions in the corporate unions. Militants who don't understand the nature of the corporate unions then get the idea that if only they can get a boost in members who are opposed to officials and their sell outs -voting and for them - then they will get elected. But as part of the 'con' there is always this supposed low voter turn out. So they waste vast sums on a hopeless endeavour and become demoralised.

Fozzie's picture
Joined: 4-12-03
Nov 21 2020 18:56

It is good to hear that the revolutionary wave in Australia has reached a point where ballot rigging in union elections is a standard tactic to prevent militants gaining influential positions.

In the UK we are some distance from achieving this and the elections are the usual stitch ups between centrists, careerists and the odd trot.

I put my Unison ballot in the bin.

Joined: 2-01-07
May 18 2021 09:55

In the below book review in RW - there is a discussion of the interwoven issues of alleged union elections ballot rigging, the emergence of the corporate union phenomena, the various tentacles of the ALP Octopus and Deep State and the implementation of the Neo Liberal agenda associated with the 'Official' and 'Un-official' Accords. These issues are looked at in historical context.

New edition of Rebel Worker Paper of the Anarcho-Syndicalist Network
May - June 2021 Vol. 39 No.1 (228) May - June 2021
Web Site www.rebelworker.org

Book Review Corner: Stuff The Accord! Pay Up! Worker Resistance to the ALP-ACTU Accord by Liz Ross published by Interventions; The review particularly focuses on the unknown history of syndicalist resistance to the Accord in the Public Service in the 1990's;