TODAY the working class is fighting against a crisis-ridden capitalist system whose banks and industries have collapsed, and whose political leaders, such as the Brown government in the UK, are determined to support the banks to any extent and at any cost, and to make the working class and the middle class pay the extremely heavy price.
What the working class needs is a trade union leadership that will defend all of its gains and not give an inch to the bosses, and a political leadership that will proclaim that since capitalism has failed it must be replaced with socialism.
Instead, it has a treacherous trade union leadership that acts like a junior partner of the bosses, and a Labour government that represents the bankers.
The GMB trade union leader Paul Kenny has just sent a letter to the boss of the well-known anti-union enterprise Marks and Spencer, advertising just what the union can do for him.
Part of it reads ‘Dear Sir Stuart
‘As one of the biggest trade unions in the country with wide experience in assisting companies who are having to contract their staff due to economic circumstances (News Line emphasis), we have watched with dismay as Marks and Spencer presses forwards with a compulsory redundancy programme which flies in the face of the spirit and intent of the ACAS code. . .’
The letter explains to M&S that there are other ways to skin a cat.
‘In this recession it defies understanding why Marks and Spencer would have taken this route when the company could so easily have retained goodwill by allowing those who wanted to leave to do so, and retaining those staff anxious to stay with the company.
‘Further we understand that the company has actually imposed a job freeze in surrounding stores as part of its “cost improvement plan” to prevent those being made redundant finding employment in other stores.
‘I am writing to ask if you will take another look at the way the selection for redundancy is being handled, and reconsider the voluntary redundancy route.’
Instead of trying to mobilise the workers to defend every job in a situation of growing mass unemployment, the GMB leader seeks to show the boss how to do his job more efficiently!
The Unite leaders, Simpson and Woodley, have also put ‘their’ union at the disposal of the Brown government.
Under the leadership of Unite, its members at the LDV Vans factory in Birmingham have just agreed to a 10% pay cut and three-day week and to support a management buy out.
Unite leaders refused to defend the jobs, wages and conditions of its members in the only way possible, by demanding the nationalisation of the company, under workers control. Its political friends Brown and Mandelson would not approve of this.
Meanwhile, the management has said that if production will not rise to 250 vehicles a week there will be redundancies. All the Unite leaders are doing is easing their members towards the dole queues.
In addition, GM Europe has announced that if PM Brown does not hand GM a major grant to finance the continuation of Vauxhall Ellesmere Port and Luton, they will both close.
The response of the Unite leaders to this declaration has been to keep their mouths shut.
They certainly have not demanded that the plants be nationalised. They are no doubt secretly discussing the prospect for enhanced redundancy payments!
These treacherous union leaders must be removed. Unions must defend the jobs, wages and conditions of their members with occupations, like at Waterford Crystal in Ireland.
Vauxhall Ellesmere Port and Luton must be occupied and national strike action begun to win their nationalisation. This is the only way forward.