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(en) Britain, Catalyst #11 - Problems at work - No. 9: Who needs Unions? Syndicalism Out West

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 26 Aug 2004 12:40:40 +0200 (CEST)

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Of course, a trade union is usually better than
nothing - but if you have the chance, why not
dissafilliate from the Labour Party or, better
still, take the union under direct workers
control? Heres two recent events to prove it.
Union Grows after Cutting Labour Ties
Since being thrown out of the Labour Party, the
RMT, the biggest rail workers union, has increased
its membership by more than 3,000, and is one of the
few trade unions in the country which is growing.
Even given this evidence, the union is still
planning to take legal action to challenge the decision
that it had effectively disaffiliated itself in February
because it was giving financial support to other
political parties. The RMT is still sending affiliation
cheques to the party, but they are being returned.
What does it take for the RMT leadership to
realise that not being affiliated to the Labour Party is a
positive advantage? Instead of trying to get back in,
they should be releasing the political fund for
campaigns to support rail workers in their continuing
fight to defend their workplace wages and conditions.

Syndicalism Out West
Voluntary sector workers in Bristol are moving
away from the passive local UNISON branch and
forming their own solidarity networks. In one
workplace, a mass meeting. voted to disaffiliate from
the Socialist Workers Party-controlled union branch,
and form their own syndicate. Administrative posts
are rotated amongst the workers, and delegates are
instructed by mass meetings. There are no officials,
and subs are to be kept and controlled in common by
the workers. Self education, mutual aid and solidarity
are the watchwords of the independent syndicate.
Beyond individual workplaces, workers in the city
are organising to resist the bullying, summary
dismissals and harassment that are endemic in the
voluntary sector. Many voluntary sector
organisations are little more than personal fiefdoms for
power-crazed middle-class poverty pimps, and
working conditions are generally awful. The
realisation that it is the workers themselves who must
take the fight to the bosses is spreading, and
confidence is growing.

Write in for a full & frank answer to a problem at work,
or contact the ansaphone helpline for advice - 07984 675 281
Catalyst, SF, PO Box 29, SW PDO, Manchester M15 5HW.
Catalyst is a Freesheet of the anarchist Solidarity
Federation - IWA

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