|The News Line: Editorial
Tuesday, 16 May 2017
KICK OUT THE TORIES ON JUNE 8th AND KICK OUT THEIR TUC COLLABORATORS NOW!
THE leadership of the TUC yesterday stuck the knife into the backs of the working class when it called for workers to look more favourably on any future Tory government and to consider voting Tory on June 8th.
This act of treachery was delivered by its general secretary, Francis O’Grady, in response to Tory proposals on ‘workers’ rights’ made in a speech on Monday by Theresa May where she promised: ‘the greatest extension of rights and protections for employees by any Conservative government in history.’
This amounted to little more than allowing worker representatives to sit on company boards and getting information about key decisions the company intends to make.
In other words, they will be told at the same time as shareholders when the company intends to sack half the workforce or close down completely, not that they will be able to do anything about it of course.
Along with all the other lying pledges that drip so easily from May’s lips about protecting pensions from blood sucking bosses, these promises are entirely meaningless and empty, and will be treated with derision by the millions of workers whose lives have been smashed up by the Tories as they drive through austerity to keep their bankrupt capitalist system from collapse.
What May has absolutely no intention of reversing is the greatest attack by the Tories on the most fundamental right of workers – the right to join and organise in free trade unions, or the Tory policy of charging fees for Employment Tribunal cases making it financially impossible for workers to obtain any legal redress against employers.
The draconian anti-union laws, designed to make legal strikes by workers as difficult as possible, are not only sacrosanct as far as the Tories are concerned but indeed they will be massively strengthened if May gets an overwhelming majority of MPs.
That is the main driver of this whole election, to secure a huge Tory majority strong enough to take on the working class and its unions by making strikes completely illegal, and transform trade unions into nothing more than extensions of ‘human resources’, with a promise of seats on the board for union bureaucrats to keep them docile.
O’Grady has leapt at the chance of a corporatist, minor servant, collaborationist role for her and any fellow bureaucrats who agree with her, under a Tory government. She praised May’s proposals saying: ‘This is a promising set of commitments from the Conservatives, though it is clear that much more detail is needed.’
She added: ‘Working people have the right to know these details before they cast their vote.’ O’Grady is openly calling for workers to seriously consider voting for the Tories on the basis of promises that the leader of the Unite union, Len McCluskey, rightly denounced saying: ‘The Conservatives can never be the party of working people. . . Theresa May’s promises to workers need to be regarded in the same light as her promise not to call another election – that is, not worth the paper they are written on.’
The issue for McCluskey and every other trade union leader is what do they intend to do about this treacherous leadership of the TUC which is preparing to collaborate with the Tories and is now electioneering for them on the basis of a tissue of lies and promises that even O’Grady must know are worthless.
There is no doubt that the Tories appreciate O’Grady’s role. May, after all, called the snap election so as to get an overwhelming personal mandate. Getting returned, with just a few seats more, will not be enough – in that event she will be brought down by her fellow Tories for failing to get her pledged massive majority. She desperately needs some workers’ votes, and O’Grady is doing her best to help her get them!
There can be only one answer to the crisis in the workers movement that O’Grady is now stoking. It is that the trade unions must demand an immediate meeting of the TUC general council to sack O’Grady and clear out this Tory 5th column from the leadership before the June 8th election.
The whole of the TUC must be brought into line to campaign to secure a majority vote for Labour to kick out the Tories. News Line calls on every worker and youth to vote Labour on June 8th and in the five constituencies with a WRP candidate to vote WRP so as to build the revolutionary leadership that will take the working class forward to the taking of power.
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