THE Unite trade union has issued a press release that dangles before its members and the working class the pledge that the union would use its enormous power to ‘create a Workers’ Economy’.
On examination however this stirring call to arms turns out to be nothing more than a campaign in ‘battleground seats’ for the next general election – not due to be held until January 2025!
In other words, all Unite is calling for is organising a campaign to ‘win’ votes away from Tories in the so-called ‘red wall seats’ won by them from Labour in the last general election.
Unite is at pains to disguise the thoroughly reactionary and reformist outlook that workers will have to wait over 2 years for a Labour government to take over running a capitalist system, that is already over the abyss of raging inflation and recession.
Instead, the press release is headed: ‘Unite’s power in the workplace spreads to battleground seats to create a Workers’ Economy.’
It continues: ‘From workplace to community, Unite is driving a UK-wide strategy to help bring change to ‘‘heartland’’ communities following the failure of politicians to act. With the aim of unifying collectivism at the workplace and within local communities, the union will now look to drive the political agenda as opposed to commentating on it.’
Announcing this campaign, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: ‘Too often workers are taken for granted, their concerns ignored whilst politicians protect corporate profits at the expense of wages and services. No amount of lobbying in Westminster will change that. We need a totally new approach.’
Graham continued: ‘We need to build power in our workplaces and simultaneously organise in our communities.’
She concluded: ‘It’s time to do things differently. It is time for the trade union movement to lead.’
But what is the political agenda Unite will be driving? Nothing more than the agenda of campaigning in Tory marginals for the election of the Labour Party in over 2 years’ time.
A Labour Party, that is dominated by the right wing and led by Keir Starmer, who makes no effort to disguise his hatred of trade unions and workers striking for wage increases.
This is the party that sacked one of its shadow ministers for the crime of being on a picket line and which has rejected outright any call for even the temporary nationalisation of energy companies.
This week, the Labour Party was forced to admit that last year 91,000 members had left in disgust at the headlong rush to the right by Starmer, as he works feverishly to prove his loyalty to the bosses and capitalism in the hope of a seat in any national government.
Unite’s promise to step into the breach to campaign in a general election will be met with a sigh of relief from Labour HQ.
Unite is doing the right wing’s job for them under the false slogan of fighting to create a ‘Workers’ Economy’.
This is the old reformist deception that capitalism can be reformed and the capitalist class can be persuaded to give up its profits for the benefit of workers through the bourgeois democratic system.
This is a lie designed to avoid the life and death struggle that tens of millions of workers and youth are facing immediately, as food and energy bills hit unaffordable levels.
What this historic crisis of capitalism demands is not organising for a general election but organising a general strike to kick out the Tories and bring in a workers’ government.
A general strike, along with building councils of action (soviets), to organise local communities to ensure supplies to workers and provide defence of picket lines and occupations – was precisely how the working class organised in the 1926 general strike.
These councils of action will be the foundations of a workers’ government and a workers’ state that will expropriate the capitalist class and build a socialist planned economy.
Those trade union leaders who dodge the issue of the working class taking power must be removed and replaced by the revolutionary leadership of the WRP. Join the WRP to build up the revolutionary leadership required to put an end to bankrupt capitalism. This is the only way forward.