The need to Democratise the Trade Unions
Co- Authors of this document: Steve McKenzie and Keith Henderson
The Undermining of Jeremy Corbyn
It has become clear, that in the eighteen months or so, since Jeremy Corbyn first announced he was seeking nominations to stand in the first labour party leadership election, that barely elected and unelected trade union bureaucrats have conspired to undermine thwart and unseat him.
Relying on their bureaucratic machinations, and their control of the full time apparatus (that has served to maintain their well healed positions in the trade unions), they have used their influence, time and again, to maintain a status quo in both wings of the labour movemen
. A status quo that is no longer viable as the so called centre ground collapses. The rejection of neo liberalism and globalisation and it’s institutionally corrupt establishments in countries around the world is clear for all to see. Apart from those with a vested self interest that is. There is none as blind as those who do not wish to see.
Nowhere is this clearer than the election of Trump and the rejection of Hilary Clinton and the Democratic party in the United States. The Brexit vote in relation to big businesses pro European establishment in Britain. This included the defunct old new labour project that was seen as part of the liberal establishment.
Despite this the discredited forces of the liberal left try desperately to cling to power.
The pitiful coup attempt against Jeremy Corbyn last summer inspired by the discredited war criminal Tony Blair. The subsequent farcical electoral challenge of Owen Smith. The election of Corbyn for a second time, with an increased mandate, despite the outrageous purge of his supporters and the cynical manipulation of the rules. All of this was a reflection of the fact neo liberal capitalism is being totally rejected.
The anti austerity movement itself and the massive surge in Labour party membership since Jeremy first stood for the leadership is also a reflection of this fact.
However as is clear from the continuing sectarian behaviour of entryist groups like the misnamed Progress. The open hostility of the so called Labour First group, the antics of Blairite MPs in the parliamentary Labour party, most significantly the behaviour of the right wing trade union leaders and their placemen in the Labour party apparatus and on controlling bodies like the NEC, Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and the whole anti austerity/ social movement that their leadership represents, is in danger of being throttled in its infancy.
The British establishment’s greatest fear at the present time is a Corbyn and McDonnell led anti austerity/ socialist Labour government. It is a realistic possibility if the message gets through and our movement is united.
The behaviour of the Blairite MP’s and their fellow travellers. The Labour party under the notorious General Secretary Iain McNicol. Above all the unelected, barely elected and unaccountable trade union bureaucrats, conspires to ensure that this will not be the case.
Those in pursuit of their vested self interest in both wings of the British Labour movement have been, are and will continue to be used to do the establishments bidding to ensure that the manifestation of a united Labour movement behind Jeremy Corbyn never comes to fruition.
There are certainly those Blairite MPs in the PLP who would rather Labour lost than see a Corbyn led Labour government. The behaviour of the 172 Labour MP’s who participated in the coup attempt suggests that there may be more than a discontented handful of Blairite fanatics.
As well as the weakling MPs who were bullied into attempting to bully Jeremy into standing down, there were and are unelected and barely elected officials in the trade union movement who want to conspire to bring about Jeremy’s demise and indeed there were even those who participated in this farcical coup and subsequent leadership challenge. Openly coming out in favour of Owen Smith.
While they clearly want a labour government, they do not want one that is led by Corbyn and McDonnell. If another coup isn’t on the cards in the immediate future because a general election is called in 2017 they will back a campaign to get Jeremy elected, on the surface at least, but they will ensure that he is deposed if the election is lost and Labour ends up with less seats that it had going into the election.
The Failure of the Left
The failure of the left to organise effectively, if at all, in the major trade unions affiliated to the Labour party, over the years, has given the right wing carte blanche to operate exactly as they pleased, with no fear of being held to account and with no opposition for years. Since Jeremy was elected the chickens have come home to roost with a vengeance and the utter disruption and havoc caused by right wing trade union bureaucrats and their placemen in Labour party has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory after last year’s Brexit vote and the resignation of Cameron with the Tory party hopelessly split. The Machiavellian manoeuvrings to ditch Jeremy played into the hands of the establishment and the Tories and by the end of the summer, when Jeremy was returned as leader with an increased mandate, it was the Labour Party that was split and trailing dramatically in the polls.
The GMB trade union has been publicly described as institutionally corrupt by a former General Secretary who was forced out of his job after winning a rare general secretary election in that union.
Serious left organisations have either been strangled at birth by the bureaucracy of the GMB. Alternatively genuine left organisations that have been in existence in other trade unions that have been taken over by the GMB and it’s predecessors have been ruthlessly crushed.
Serious socialists and genuine unionists have been sacked expelled and slandered.
Only if you have been compromised by, or are in the pay of, the bureaucracy of the GMB, and even then only if you do as your told are you even allowed to function in the union. Then only to present a left façade if ultimately you do not as your told, on the issues that really matter the screws will be tightened and you will do as your told because ultimately the job and the lifestyle you have become accustomed to depends on it. It is from this base that the fifth column operates and creates such splits divisions and chaos in the movement as a whole, but particularly in the political wing, the Labour party.
It will come as no surprise to anyone who has scratched beneath the surface that the current General Secretary of the Labour Party, Iain McNicol was formally the GMB political officer. He was manoeuvred into position by Sir Paul Kenny, the unelected General Secretary of the GMB in 2012.
From an establishment right wing perspective allowing Jeremy to get enough nominations to stand in the first place was a fundamental error. As an illustrious tool of the establishment once pointed out to the author of this document “the trouble with elections is that people don’t always vote the right way”
This was not a mistake that would have been made had the right wing not been taken unawares, at a later stage every effort was made to reverse this error by attempting to ensure that Jeremy would not get onto the ballot sheet when the second leadership election was forced. The tactic of ensuring potential candidates in leadership elections do not get the necessary nominations to stand was perfected in the GMB trade union.
Having made utter fools of themselves in the first Labour leadership election the three old new labour candidates were crushed by Jeremy in the first round of voting.
The first thing that Jeremy did in his acceptance speech was to thank Iain McNicol and the full time staff at the Labour party for the way they had conducted the ballot.
As we all know Blairite luminaries stamped their little feet and refused to serve in a shadow cabinet that they hadn’t been invited to join. The most cowardly bullying and intimidation of Jeremy followed, at PLP meetings, with Blairite MPs texting the Tory press from inside the meeting so as Jeremy could be vilified in the mainstream media the following day. Constant anti Corbyn stories in the visual media assisted by right wing Labour MPs who would make sensational comments like stabbing him in the front instead of the back and so on, appeared on an almost daily basis.
Then there was the almost entirely bogus anti Semitism witch hunts with ludicrous, stage managed, pre arranged performances between the likes of John Mann and the television channels when Ken Livingstone was verbally assaulted over alleged anti Semitic comments. (Factual historical statements he had made on a radio show)
. It was around this stage that the old GMB methods started to be put into operation by McNicol and a department in the Labour party he was responsible for, sinisterly named compliance unit. Livingstone was suspended for what were factual comments. This meant he couldn’t remain in his position on the Labour party NEC, (where he supported Corbyn) yet John Mann’s thug like behaviour only warranted a mild rebuke.
The bogus anti Semitic witch hunts then took off with gusto with good socialists being suspended left, right and centre. This created a perception of a split party and piled pressure on Jeremy to silence support for the Palestinian struggle.
Close on the heels of the bogus anti Semitism witch hunts came false allegations of abuse and intimidation and now, not only were good socialists being suspended from the party, on the basis of bogus allegations, entire local parties were being suspended, Brighton Wallasey and South Shields
Of course the local parties in question were supporting Jeremy Corbyn, much to the embarrassment of their MP’s, this of course, we are expected to believe, had nothing to do with it whatsoever. The compliance unit did what was ever necessary to spare the blushes of the parliamentary elite.
Bureaucratic machinations, as already alluded to, making false allegations for the purpose of having someone suspended and getting them out of the way was not a tactic that was exclusive to the Labour party itself. It was an underhand manoeuvre that had been used in institutionally corrupt organisations for years.
These outrageous machinations were reaching their crescendo as the ridiculous chicken coup was put into operation. The argument being used to justify the coup attempt was that Jeremy apparently hadn’t campaigned hard enough to remain in Europe.
Whether it was this or hoping to divert attention away from the outcome of the Chilcott report, that was about to be published, or a bit of both, Blair and his creatures had launched a coup attempt against Jeremy Corbyn prematurely.
This was to have dire consequences for the right wing in the PLP, the Labour party apparatus and the right wing bureaucracy of some trade unions. But a premature coup attempt that was very beneficial for the Tories when they were at their weakest point, that served the establishment very well.
Corbyn Stands Firm
Despite the co-ordinated mainstream media/Blairite PLP staged resignations from the shadow cabinet and the most outrageous bullying, Jeremy Corbyn stood firm and refused to stand down.
It became clear that as well as a very kind leader we also had an extraordinarily brave leader. One that can be frustrating in his reluctance to throw a punch but one who can take punishment that would crush most people.
Following the failed chicken coup an even more farcical leadership challenge was launched involving members of the parliamentary Labour party whose wooden performances made a 1950 amateur marionette show look real to life.
It was around this stage that the GMB placeman Iain McNicol and the Labour party apparatus really swung into action. First in an attempt to prevent Jeremy Corbyn from getting onto the ballot paper by forcing a situation whereby he would have needed the nominations of 51 MPs or MEPs before he could have become a candidate. It was a question of trying to turn back the clock and use a method that had been so successful in protecting the vested self interest of the likes of Sir Paul Kenny in the GMB union who had only ever stood in one General Secretary election in that union, in which he was comprehensively defeated and yet he had been the General Secretary of the GMB for over a decade. In which time he should have faced two other elections. The fact that no-one ever received enough nominations to get onto the ballot sheet to stand against him was surely no coincidence.
The fact that his placeman Iain McNicol was now attempting to engineer a situation where Jeremy would not have been able to get enough nominations to stand in the second leadership election was surely not a coincidence either.
A hastily called NEC meeting of the 12th July 2016 was primarily designed to ensure that Jeremy was going to be forced to obtain a number of unobtainable nominations to ensure that he could not get on the ballot sheet.
Following a seven hour meeting and conflicting legal advice and sterling work by Unite delegates, the right wing attempt to thwart Jeremy was itself thwarted. The position where the elected leader did not have to get nominations if they were challenged carried the day.
After this was decided several NEC members left the meeting, having got Jeremy onto the ballot sheet automatically they assumed that the job had been done, the right quickly shifted into damage limitation mode, after all their jobs and lifestyle could depend on the outcome of this.
A decision was taken that members of the Labour party who had joined after 12th January 2016 (who would inevitably consist mainly of Jeremy supporters) would not be allowed to vote in the leadership election. It was also agreed (in a decision that dramatically backfired on the right, to increase the fee for registered supporters from £3 to £25) This was clearly designed to minimise support for Corbyn. It had the opposite effect given the outrage that the right wing’s transparent machinations were creating. It will come as no surprise that the mover of the resolution was one Cathy Speight a delegate from the GMB union. Coincidently the unelected political officer, which was the very same job that the General Secretary of the Labour party Iain McNicol used to do.
The right hadn’t quite given up on preventing Jeremy from getting onto the ballot sheet though and one of their rich backers took legal action at the high court to try and get the NEC decision overturned.
McNicol was involved again as it was he who was the general secretary of the Labour party who would be defending the NEC position in the high court. The right were outmanoeuvred when Jeremy was able to send his own legal team to defend his position, to the high court, effectively ensuring that legal machinations would not be able to be used to overturn the NEC’s decision
The purges and the witch hunts now started in earnest, originally to unseat Jeremy, and in the later part of the campaign to minimise the scale of his victory. The sinisterly named compliance unit were suspending members of the party, and thereby denying them their right to vote, on the most spurious grounds. Tweets and posts on social media that unelected apparatchiks of the party deemed offensive were enough to warrant suspension. Words like Blairite and traitor were deemed offensive. Support for other parties on the left in the past were enough to warrant suspension. It was clear that the data protection act was being blatantly breached but the full time unelected apparatus that the General Secretary, and former GMB political officer, Iain McNicol was responsible for did not appear to give a damn.
The tactic of suspending people on spurious charges to ensure they do not hold a position in the party, or representing the party or being able to vote in its internal elections is nothing new.
The right wing bureaucracy in the unions and the Labour Party have been using this tactic to crush political opposition for decades.
Their problem in 2016 in the labour party leadership election was that they were facing a mass movement of hundreds of thousands of energised members. Not picking off one or two socialists or genuine unionists who were a thorn in their side.
Despite the best efforts of the establishments fifth column in the Labour movement Jeremy won the election with an increased mandate.
To this day the victims of the witch hunt are still seeking redress.
However despite all of this those responsible remain in their unelected positions (their wages paid by Labour party and trade union members subs) and the witch finder general Iain McNicol remains in post despite everything. This demonstrates the level of control that the establishment still wield in our party through one or two unions that it has under total control and one or two that it has under partial control.
That coupled with the more recent entryist work of organisations like the big business backed and financed, misnamed progress organisation has conspired (literally) to ensure that control is wielded through the built in trade union vote on the National Executive Committee of the Labour party. Control of the full time apparatus of the Labour party and some of the affiliated unions. All of which culminated this year in the outrageous behaviour Iain McNicol and his employees in the compliance unit.
Unfortunately for those who derive a very lucrative living from the Labour movement, who seek to ensure that the status quo is maintained, the mass movement, represented by Jeremy Corbyn, that started in 2015 after the general election defeat took them completely by surprise. Incapable of political perspective or analysis the majority of hired hands in the Labour movement were unable to understand, at least initially, that the so called centre ground was crumbling beneath their feet.As neo liberalism and globalisation were being rejected in one country after another, with polarisation to the right, and to a lesser extent the left, its manifestation in Britain was the Brexit vote to the right and the rise of the anti austerity movement, personified by Corbyn to the left. Our well healed hired hands floundered, lacking the political clarity to understand what was going on around them.
As centre establishments on the so called liberal left were being crushed (the US election being the election of Trump and rejection of the Clinton dynasty and the Democratic party) our bureaucrats in the Labour and Trade Union movement continued to try and hold on to the goose that laid the golden egg as they perceived things. The centre ground had been the ground upon which their livelihood had depended for so long it’s abrupt disintegration disorientated them in the first instance. However the more astute began to see the ground moving to the left so they stepped quietly to the left professing their support for anti austerity and Jeremy. The degree to which this was genuine or a façade was dependant on the union. Unite and Len McCluskey may have been sceptical in the first place but events have hardened Len McCluskey’s support for Jeremy. It is fair to say without that support Jeremy would have been brought down already by the fifth column. There can be little doubt about that. The barely elected bureaucrats of Unison have supported Jeremy through gritted teeth for fear of their own membership and it would be foolish in the extreme to expect anything except a volte face at the earliest opportunity from these individuals if the Unison left fails to get itself organised. Some of the most right wing elements in the unions were openly supporting Owen Smith in the leadership election, with Sir Paul Kenny, the ex General secretary who few GMB members knew had been replaced, came out half way through a consultative ballot of GMB members to call for support for Smith. Among uproar among those members who were aware of what was going on with many claiming they had not been given an opportunity to vote in the consultative ballot, this union backed Smith. Incredibly in Unite, the union that has provided staunch backing for Jeremy Corbyn.
In the Labour party leadership election their ineptitude, despite almost total control of the Labour party apparatus, and the unethical organisational manoeuvrings (that had been perfected in right wing unions) was no match for the hundreds of thousands that had flooded into the labour party to back Jeremy.
However the damage they have done in splitting the party and undermining the elected leadership has been enormous. At a time when the Tory party was at it’s weakest just after the Brexit vote. At a time when the prime minister had been forced to resign. At a time when the Tories were hopelessly split, the establishment’s fifth column chooses to launch the chicken coup and the idiotic leadership challenge.
Accident of design, the readers can draw their own conclusions.
False Unity Calls - Naïve or Disingenuous
It is absolutely clear that the calls for unity with this ilk is grotesquely infantile. It would clearly be unity of the graveyard. If a general election is called in 2017 that could well be the case unless a campaign independent of the poison of McNicol and his minions and Blair and his sycophants can be organised. Unless this is the case disaster looms.
Only once these elements have been vomited out of the Labour movement or at least been made accountable to the members of the labour party and the trade unions, is there any chance of unity behind Jeremy Corbyn and for the anti austerity social movement becoming an anti austerity socialist movement.
As already said it is clear that elements of the Labour aristocracy are becoming more astute and are adapting to the new realities.
They organised to ensure they had control of the Labour party conference held in Liverpool in September. They manoeuvred to get the NEC extended to enable representation from Scotland and Wales thus ensuring a built in majority for the right. They enshrined into the rule book rules that make it a breach of rule for labour councillor to oppose cuts to council budgets effectively.
In short they ensured they had the maximum amount of delegates they could muster, they were organised in the use of their positions of power and disciplined in ensuring their people were in the right place at the right time for the appropriate vote or televised speech.
In contrast the left had not organised effectively to ensure it had the maximum number of delegates, was neither effectively organised or disciplined on the floor of conference and was in reality all over the place.
There is perhaps a certain inevitability about this given that the anti austerity movement is still relatively new at this level. The prohibitive cost of attending the conference in terms of accommodation and subsistence makes it virtually impossible for working class people to attend. An utterly ridiculous situation for a political party purporting to represent the interests of the working class. In short unless you are an MP or a trade union bureaucrat on expenses or an all expenses paid member of the labour party or affiliated union staff you are financially barred from attending the Labour party conference.
That is of course unless you are from a middle class background and can afford to make the sacrifice. There is no doubt that it is a sacrifice and hats off to comrades from that background who make the effort.
However this would help to explain the disorganisation and lack of preparation that allowed our expenses paid well healed elements of the right to dominate the conference.
Whether the right, through entryist organisations like progress, or through groups like Labour first, or unions like the GMB are organising a reargued action, to maintain their positions in Parliament, through continued bureaucratic control of local parties, their domination of conference, or whether they are organising another challenge against Jeremy, or all three, time will tell.
Whether a general election is called in 2017 will have a large bearing on how all of this plays out.
Regardless of this the left must start getting organised. Getting involved in local parties, taking up positions in the party, including councillor positions, getting delegated to conference. In short getting organised properly in the labour party structures. But perhaps even more importantly than this is getting properly organised in the trade unions.
DEMOCRATISE THE UNIONS
Most of the thirteen unions affiliated to the Labour party are viewed as if they are the property of, and are owned by the unelected and barely elected trade union bureaucracy. This isn’t just the case as far as the right wing and the well heeled hired hands of the trade union bureaucracy are concerned. Unfortunately it is also the perception held by many on the left of the Labour and trade union movement.
The defeats of the trade union movement in the Thatcher era and the de industrialisation of Britain, coupled with the introduction of anti union legislation that was integral to the liberalisation and globalisation of capitalism. Integral to it’s need to drive down wages and condition and privatise services, increasing profitability and inequality as wealth flowed to the elite.
The decline in the strength of the trade unions in terms of the halving of their membership, in terms of the density of trade union membership in workplaces, and the number of workers covered by trade union agreements has had a demoralising effect and has led to an erosion of democracy and the rise of an unaccountable trade union bureaucracy that has disfigured many unions, almost beyond recognition.
The concept of collective consciousness and decision making of the members actually being the union is alien, not only to those who derive a living off of the labour and trade union movement, but many of those who agree with the principles of trade unionism and at least see that those employed by the trade unions should be providing effective representation for the members.
The idea that a trade union is some type of an industrial insurance society has taken hold on the right and even in many sections of the left in the labour movement.
Even many members themselves have been sold on the idea that the union that they have joined is some sort of an industrial insurance society, experts in the world of work, when an issue arises with their employer your union man will be there. The worst cases manifest many of the worst aspects of a capitalist insurance company. Sold by a snake oil salesman, subscriptions paid on the dot, in reality no-one ever there when the member wants advice or representation.
Even some of the better organisations, given the erosion of employment legislation, the best advice they can give in most circumstances is that the member has no case, or the case is not worth pursuing.
The Increasing Bureaucratisation of the unions
The repeated defeats and setbacks in collective disputes over the past generation, coupled with the abject failure to provide effective individual representation in the overwhelming majority of cases has led to a demoralisation and alienation of the unions membership which in turn leads to a strengthening of the bureaucracy.
The levels of turnout in elections for senior positions in many unions is testament to this process. The fact that many elected bodies in many trade unions who should be holding the full time apparatus in those unions to account are themselves bought and paid for and under the control of the bureaucracy, to a greater or lesser degree, depending on what union we are talking about, is testament to this reality.
So far has this process gone in some unions that descriptions such as institutionally corrupt, have been used in public arena’s to describe the degenerate state of affairs that have developed.
The bureaucratic control of the unelected and the barely elected in the industrial wing of our movement has been reflected in recent events in the political wing of the movement and particularly since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party.
There was the attempt to manufacture the situation where Jeremy would not have been unable to get onto the ballot paper in the second leadership election.
There was the retrospective ruling of the NEC to debar over one hundred thousand new members from voting in the leadership election if they had joined the Labour party after 12th January 2016.
There was the attempt to prevent many registered supporters from voting for Jeremy by increasing the registration fee from £3 to £25.
There was the attempt of a rich backer from the right to use the courts in an attempt to overturn the decision of the NEC to allow Jeremy to stand in the election without having to secure nominations on the basis that he was the existing leader and it was only incumbent on the challenger to secure a requisite number of nominations. The subsequent thwarted machinations to ensure that Iain McNicol as the general secretary was the sole defendant who was supposed to be defending the NEC position and the decision they had made, saved Jeremy
The purge against Corbyn supporters, thousands of who were suspended on the most ridiculous charges and prevented from voting in the election.
The machinations of the right at the Labour Party conference after Corbyn had won the second election with an increased mandate despite all of the organisational manoeuvres that the right wing apparatus had deployed against him and his supporters. Extending representation on the NEC to include a delegate from Scotland and a delegate from Wales to ensure the right wing maintained their majority and could continue to undermine Jeremy at the highest level of the party structures between conferences.
Most of these right wing organisational manoeuvres deployed by the Blairites in the PLP. Their misnamed progress entryist organisation. Their allies in the Labour first organisation, but above all the right wing trade union bureaucracies and their placemen and women within the Labour party apparatus and supposedly representative bodies like the conference and the NEC. Most of the tactics employed by these elements are nothing new to the unelected and the barely elected bureaucrats in the unions. They have been employed to silence the voices of socialists and genuine unionists within the trade unions for decades.
The details of the worst abuses of power by the unelected bureaucratic elites of the trade unions is currently being written and would be superfluous to requirement for the purposes of this document.
The need for workers not yet in unions to join in their masses is self evident. The need for workers currently in the unions and all of those serious about transforming society and supporting Jeremy Corbyn to get organised in the unions is self evident, but is not enough.
In some of these unions there has been no serious left opposition for decades. In others the left plays an entirely tokenistic role incapable of even uniting behind a common candidate in the general secretary election. In other unions the left has operated in a semi effective way and has achieved results. That is not to say that the pendulum will not swing to the right, which it inevitably will unless the left is strengthened.
Whichever way any genuine comrade looks at it the left must start getting itself organised more effectively in the affiliated trade unions.
Starting from the premise that the members are the union, solidarity, unity and a determined approach must be taken with a view to democratising our unions wielding our power in the genuine interests of the movement as a whole.
With this overall object in mind there is an unanswerable case for the LRC to make every effort to launch LRC trade union caucuses with a view to assisting in that process.
Each union will have it’s own specific priorities. A union that has a pro Trident, pro nuclear, pro airport expansion and pro fracking policies has policies diametrically opposed to the LRC. LRC members who are in that union getting organised to challenge these policies as effectively as they can within the democratic framework of that union is so obviously the correct move to make that the motives of those opposing such a move would have to be questioned.
Other unions may have more progressive policies on paper and the priority here may be more to do with breaking down the façade to facilitate organisational change that would see policy put into practice. Once again LRC members coming together in a caucus to develop approaches and a strategy for achieving that aim could surely not be opposed.
The prime objective should be helping to transform top down unions, run like a business, into a bottom up ones where members decide, the union apparatus provides, the service it is employed to provide. Bridging the massive divide between the leadership and the members by returning all unions to where they belong with the members has to be the key objective.
The LRC trade union caucuses will discuss the appropriate approach to the election of all union officers who should be accountable to democratically elected bodies of lay members at a national and regional level. For the devolvement of resources from a national and regional level to a workplace and a local level. The precise mechanism will vary depending on the particular union
However the basic must be to make trade unions a bottom up organisations and not a top down institutions and this requires some fundamental changes.
The objectives should be established following discussion in the LRC
Draft Platform: for discussion
A) For regular elections and right to recall of all full time officials, shop stewards and branch officers
B) Union branches being properly funded by getting 25% of their members subs going back to the branch
C) For rank and file control over all negotiations and industrial action through mass meetings and elected strike committees
D) Union branches having a branch political fund in every union
E) Striking workers to be given strike pay
F) For militant action, strikes and occupations, to stop all cuts against working class people
G) Setting up shop stewards committees
H) For defiance of the anti-union laws, wherever they are invoked to prevent workers’ action, for solidarity strike action with any group of workers or union that is prosecuted under these undemocratic laws
I) For the right of the rank and file to veto all management decisions and workers’ control
over all aspects of production, including hiring and firing, for workers’ control over and
nationalisation without compensation of all firms sacking workers in the interests of profit
J) Ending all the anti-union laws
K) For the rights of all women, black, lesbian, gay, disabled, migrant and undocumented workers to caucus in the trade unions and voice their own demands, against any discrimination at work
L) Full employment rights for everyone from day one of employment
M) Workplace democracy
N) Delegates to Labour party conference from trade unions should be elected by the union membership and not decided by the union bureaucracy
O) Members of the Labour party NEC from trade unions should not be decided by the union bureaucracy as there should be a vote of the entire union membership on who represents them on the NEC
The LRC elected a new set of office holders at its annual conference at the end of October 2016
The new membership secretary should be tasked with organising what LRC members are in what union in the first instance.
Furthermore on the basis of prioritising the unions whose LRC membership display the most willingness to convene such a caucus a date agreed and room should be booked in the new year to make the launching of the first LRC trade union caucus a reality.
The membership secretary will be given the full support of the national committee and the national officers in undertaking this task.
A full report back to the national committee will be given once this and other caucuses take place.
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