Blair and Brown threaten the trade unions

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THE message from the Blair-Brown leadership to the trade unions and their leaders is ‘face up to globalisation or cease to exist’.

Even the two’s heroine, Margaret Thatcher, did not threaten to put an end to trade unionism if it did not do the wishes of big business.

One has to go back to Hitler and Mussolini to see such extreme threats issued to the trade unions, although of course we are not suggesting that the duo are fascists, they are not, they are just starting to sound like them.

Blair-Brown were responding to the union leaders’ requests that the Gate Gourmet dispute proved, that where a workforce was provoked and ambushed by an employer, so that the employer could sack them and then bring in scab cheap labour, trade unions should be given the legal right to take secondary action.

Blair’s response was ‘it would be dishonest to tell you any Labour government is going to legislate a return to secondary action. It won’t happen.’

The government is refusing to act because the union busting operation at Gate Gourmet is a brilliant example of global capitalism in action.

There are going to be a lot more Gate Gourmets and both Blair and Brown see no reason for getting in the way of the global capitalists.

Brown told the TUC Congress that globalisation ‘is not, as sometimes said, a race to the bottom with China and India, that can be met by protecting our home industries, shutting foreign goods out and hoping the world will go away.’

He added: ‘The answer lies, not in protectionism, but in radically upgrading our skills, science and technology.’

Thus speaks the Chancellor whose government signed away the advanced technology of MG Rover, along with more than a million other advanced manufacturing jobs. Another minister said of the skilled engineers that worked for MG Rover that they could find jobs at Tesco’s. That’s advanced technology for you.

The answer of Brown and Blair to globalisation is certainly not socialism, nor even bourgeois protectionism. It is to join the bandit capitalists and lead the race to the bottom, in order to make Britain a paradise for the gangmasters and their armies of contract labourers, where every workplace where there is a union is a Gate Gourmet waiting to happen.

What has emerged at the TUC Congress is the absolute and unbridgeable gulf between the trade unions and the Blair government.

Ex-postal workers’ leader Johnson, now a minister, told Congress on Wednesday that Labour was determined to end the ‘retirement at 60 ethos’.

Blair-Brown have made it clear that they are going to take on the public sector and every other sector and smash them up for the benefit of the global capitalists.

They have declared war on the trade unions. Their message is, do as we say or ‘cease to exist’.

The reaction of trade union leaders is truly pathetic. They accept that the government is driving them into a corner and that it is provoking a fight, but they dread the fight, and they believe in advance, like their forefathers in 1926, that the unions are going to be beaten. Some are even talking about ending up in prison.

The working class is the strongest force. What it needs is a new leadership that will use its great power ruthlessly to take the initiative and crush the gangster capitalists and their political servants.

The issue of the hour is the building up of the revolutionary leadership of the WRP in the trade unions to organise the victory of the working class. We must insist that the trade unions show courage and audacity and that they take sympathy action to win the Gate Gourmet dispute and to bring down the Blair government. The working class must go forward to a workers’ government that will bring in socialism.

Our answer to global capitalism is world socialist revolution!