Sunday, 7 November 2010

Labour acting in UNISON.

Let's start this post off with a statement of fact. I am a member of UNITE. Before I was made redundant, I was a union rep. I fully support the right of unions to organise and protest and represent their members. I helped organise a strike picket in defence of pay, employment and pension rights at Fujitsu. Cllr. Debbie Watson was our union organiser.

But what we are seeing in Reading is a complete corruption of union ideals. Union members have been fed a lie that their best interests are served by supporting Labour.

I have an internal Reading Labour Party email detailing how they were going to spend UNISON members money on the Labour Party's election postage. They are as close locally as you can get to a single organisation as you can get.

Yet, if you are a UNISON member, especially a low paid UNISON member, ask yourself why hypocrites like Tony Jones are paid with your subscriptions to promote and act as apologists for that Labour Party when Reading Labour has locally prevented the introduction of equal pay for men and women across the council for over 5 years whilst at the same time the Reading Labour party used your equal pay money in their council budgets to pay for their pet projects.

If you work for the council, ask yourself this, are you best served by a Reading Labour Party that views equal pay for women as something that can be put off because it was the only way to balance the books.

Reading Labour should hang their head in shame that it is the Lib Dems and, to Labour's complete and utter shame, the Conservatives who will be bringing equal pay to this town. Not them... the so called party of the working class.

They are quite frankly a disgrace to the name 'Labour' and should be actionable under the Trades Description Act. and have let really hard working union members down. And your union supports them with your money. And pays Tony Jones.

Some people foolishly thought that Tony Jones was making a principled stand against a Reading Labour Party that had lost its way and no longer represented ordinary working people. I learned pretty quickly that it was simply a matter of his ego and the result of internal faction fighting. He hated the local Labour Party leadership and they hated him.

I am also loving Chris Maskell's sudden conversion to Labour loyalist. He had actually written to council officers asking them to change his details on the web site and council documentation before chickening out at the last minute leaving Tony Jones out on a limb.

As a paid UNISON official Tony Jones epitomises the major weakness of British unions. Charles de Talleyrand-PĂ©rigord said that he was more afraid of sheep led by lions than lions led by sheep and you couldn't find a bigger sheep leading the lions than UNISON’s Regional Head of Local Government for the South East of England. He doesn't scare anyone with his new found bile. Now he barks once more to his Master's voice, he may give the appearance of being a wolf, but a sheep in wolf's clothing he remains. A complete fraud and a real class traitor like the rest of Reading Labour and yet another example of a union official getting fat off the proceeds of members' subscriptions without having earnt it, you know, by doing something simple like getting equal pay for women with a Labour council in control for 23 years. #labourfail


Jonathan said...

From what I understand, the equal pay issue arises from the fact that for example indoors cleaning is a "woman's job", whereas outdoors cleaning is a "man's job".

Sweeping the streets or going up a ladder to clean windows in all weathers is a less desirable job than cleaning the floor of a heated office, so it pays more. That seems pretty reasonable to me, and the equality angle should be dealt with by encouraging more women to do the more demanding "man's job".

Steve Cooke said...

I was a branch officer in the largest branch of Unison in the Higher Education sector, and a shop steward for years. The concerns you've raised the sorts of reasons I cancelled my union membership last month. The union is supposed to have separate Labour and General Political funds so members can chose not to support the Labour Party, but in truth when the union uses the same messages as Labour, attacks the opponents of Labour using the same Language and attacks as Labour, and refuses to criticise Labour, then it's hard to see where the Union ends and Labour begins. My branch couldn't even get a member to be their Labour Link officer for years because there was so much dissatisfaction with Labour - but they never campaigned against their policies with any vigour even when they harmed union members.

It saddened me a great deal to leave the Union - but they really are misusing their members' money in support of a political party rather than the interests of their members.

Was said...

Jonathon, you are off at a wrong tangent.

Reading are one of the last councils to inplement single statutory pay. Council staff should ask themselves 'why?'

Tacticus said...

This goes a long way to confirming my fears in terms of how the present council is run, or rather who is really running it.

It is well known that like most local authorities, most council officers in Reading are members of a trade union and by default, their representatives could well be in contact with the local Labour political group & probably be party members themselves.

So whilst there has been a superficial change of political leadership, I rather suspect that the officers are being briefed by the same old faces.

So much for democracy!

Was said...

There has already been one major leak of a confidential briefing document from inside the council to Mike Orton.