Sunday, 15 July 2007

GenerallyMore (for the) Boys

Imagine a situation.
A Union of the Trades variety.
The leaders speak of the inequality of the current situation.
Yet, they allow petty corruption to sully their own reputation.

To explain.
The workers are fighting to combat the iniquity of the Single Status Agreement.
This agreement will cut the wages of the lowest paid.
We have spoken about it before.
They need representation.
Do they have it?
The local Convener has not attended a branch meeting for over 2 years.
Ok, change the Convener.
Not so simple.
The guys have pleaded with the Union big-wigs that they should be able to choose their own Convener.
National leaders have, instead, supported the 'Man who can't be touched'.
Why should this be?
Could it be that this Union (which can't be named) actually wants a non-existent Convener to 'not fight' for the workers in the Single Status battle?
Now, there have been umpteen meetings to resolve the situation
Money and time for all concerned (expenses for those and such as those, must be said)
No change.
Still protected - must be a good Bowling Club is all I can say.

Gets worse, though.
This Convener who has been protected through thick and thin by the Union leadership was never actually elected by anyone! Not anyone.
There has never been an election for him.
Imposed is not the word in that situation.
Sounds like something from a Clint Eastwood movie.
One day 'the man with no name' turns up and tells the workers that he is the Convener.
That is what appears to have happened.

For those of us who think that the Unions were subverted a long time ago by those who were Maggie's Children (Reid, Brown etc) we have a perfect example.

Name them and Shame them.

I am sure there is more to follow.


Jose said...

I think, Merkin, that on the Unions we should place our hope for a better world. Unfortunately corruption made itself noticed after the main leaders started to remain seated in their old armchairs while the state saw to their pecuniary needs. A full overhaul is needed if we want that that hope be maintained for the next generations.

The system must be changed and new chances given to the young, after all the world is there for them to pick it.

Dramatic though that may seem unions should forswear all privileges they receive from the administrations everywhere, and try to depend just on their members. Not an easy process, indeed, but who said that life is an easy task?

Once they are on the move it will be really very difficult to stop them.

Merkin said...

Good points Jose.
As usual, this tale of a local branch must be symptomatic of the ailment that causes the workers to have little faith in the Unions nationally.
In fact the local guys arranged a branch meeting to register a vote of no confidence in this errant Convener.
The full-time Union official gatecrashed the meeting and told the guys that they could not get rid of the Convener.
Union Rules, he said.
The situation has gone as far as the national Secretary without being resolved.
All the guys want to know is if they can have proper representation by someone they have chosen.
We shall see.

anticant said...

What they need is shop stewards. Shop stewards ruled the roost in the workplace during WW2.

zola a social thing said...

I can remember Jack Straw in his young high-flying days too.

But there are many Chartists left working towards internationalisation rather than gloating badly under globalisation.

zola a social thing said...

In fact I believe that international trade union cooperation is bigger now than ever before.
Shit did Marx really predict that so long long ago???

GMB, Member said...

Now, that would be a beautiful one for Private Eye.
Where is that wee one from 'Have I got News....'?.

Jose said...

In my opinion rules are issued not as a constant cane ready to slap our posteriors if we deviate from the course. That was ancient times, today the little education we have received could be used to change the rules, mainly if they are dictatorial ones to suit a few. The majority in democracy always has the last say.

anticant said...

Oh Jose, you dear old-fashioned thing. If only it did - if only it could!

Merkin said...

I am with Anti on this one.
We all know 'how it should be' but we also know that it ain't that way.
The Unions work hand in hand with the Government, more or less, to keep the workers docile.
That is all that is happening in this case.

Jose said...

The human being is unpredictable. Any time anywhere somebody will feel an urge to do away with that hypocrisy.

I still have hopes that it will be so.

Let me dream, dear friends.

Merkin said...

Well said, Jose.

And, if there was an easy way to fulfill your wish, I would be the first to clamber over the barricades.

Jose said...

I'll go arm in arm with you, Merkin, despite my nearly 74 I am strong enough - except for my heart, the doctor says, not me - to jump over barricades.

anticant said...

"Over the barricades with Merkin and Jose".

Now there's the makings of a Laurel-and-Hardy type epic!

zola a social thing said...

But by so doing "that is another fine mess" avoided.
Jump over I say.

Pixie said...

merkin sweetie, I cannot flirt with you when you have such serious posts. Not that what you say isn't totally valid and needing saying, but....

Merkin said...

You don't have to flirt seriously, just play some guitar.

Anonymous said...

Just Pluck a G string here and there and all will be ok.