Tag Archives: Unite the Union

Students and Workers: All Out on the 31st!

Students and higher education workers are going out on strike this Thursday, the 31st of October. Don’t go to class! Don’t cross picket lines! If you aren’t sure why then take a read of this article on LibCom and have a listen to this song to get you in the spirit:

Feel free to print and distribute either this flier from SolFed or the poster/flier below and let people know what is happening:

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Commentary on Grangemouth

Workers leave the meeting at Grangemouth oil refinery in Falkirk, Scotland

Since my last post on the Grangemouth situation the news has been so fast and furious on the topic, while I has been travelling around and was unable to correct inaccuracies that had become apparent in light of the new material. I was in the middle of writing a post to address this when I was passed this fantastic article by Penny Cole over on A World To Win. Wile I may disagree with some parts, the views on what to do here and now are definitely something we share.  In particular:

“The Unite members were ready to fight and their union could have organised an occupation to prevent the dismemberment of the plant, but they did not and will not. Independence will not change that.”

Too true.

At the point at which I wrote the last article the bosses threat of lock-out had not been clear. In light of that the call for workers to take control of the site seems even more vital. Unite hasn’t been “conned and set-up” by Ineos as much as it has been by their own bureaucracy and it’s tired and predictable way of reacting to the bosses. This, along with the union’s willingness to cave in to keep the peace at their members expense, has been a huge disservice to everyone at Grangemouth.

Also the SNP have been only too willing to play into the hands of the bosses. The thought that a Scottish government will be any friendlier to workers, the unemployed or anyone else is an assertion without any backing. The state will always behave in the interests of the state. Holding hope that someone else can fix things for us is only going to lead to half-measures and the disappointment. It is only by building up our ability to take action together at the heart of the problem that will give us any real measure control of our lives.

The way in which the unions and the politicians have behaved is not the victory for common sense that is being billed; it is a stitch-up against all of us as a class. The people on the shop floor know their business better than any union bureaucrat, better than any politician, and better than any boss. We should learn the lessons from this fight and stand in solidarity with workers at Grangemouth and beyond, lending them support where we can and taking their lead on how to fight this struggle, and to hell with anyone that stands in their way.

Unite reveals its new negotiation ploy…

Grangemouth

Through the night Unite union negotiators and the bosses at Grangemouth petrochemical plant were locked in intense negotiations. After 16 hours of talks and in the face of strike action by workers the bosses walked away from table unwilling to budge an inch, and so…

“As a result, Unite will now call off all industrial action with immediate effect in order to protect this national asset from the scandalous behaviour of its owner. The plant should now start the return to full production and there is no excuse for this not happen.” 

I don’t now how anyone could put out that statement and not feel ashamed.  If Unite don’t make good on their threats, then what good are their threats? To my eyes it translated to:

“Yeah, that’ll show the bosses! Walk away from negotiations will you? Well then, prepare for us to NOT strike, go to work, and carry on business as usual! Ha, how do you like THAT?”

Unite reps went on to say:

“We are outraged that Ineos representatives walked away from Acas talks, after 16 hours of negotiation and on the cusp of an agreement, for the ludicrous reason that Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe instructed his management representatives to demand an apology on his behalf.”

Never mind the damage from shutting off the machines, why is the arrogant prick’s property is not being taken over by workers? This may be the key to preventing the “necessary” cost cutting (read: redundancies).

While the main effort of trade unions these days appear to be trying to disprove arguments that they defend their own organisational interests rather than the interests of the working class, this new ploy of defending neither marks a baffling turn of events.

The full story can be seen here.

*****

If you are interested in discussing the role of the trade unions in the class struggle, no matter your position on them, this will be the topic at our next open discussion group meeting on the 30th of November, from 6:45 at the Fred Paton Centre, 19 Carringdon Street, Glasgow, G4 9AJ. (Facebook event)