Gransnet forums

Union power

(91 Posts)
Anniebach Sat 09-Feb-19 13:50:02

As unions are brought up on most threads isn’t it fair they should have a ‘union thread ‘

PECS Sat 09-Feb-19 13:54:08

Gosh Anniebach I have not seen debates or comments on unions that often. But would contribut really should be partvof political thread though!

Anniebach Sat 09-Feb-19 13:58:39

This is a political thread

PECS Sat 09-Feb-19 14:11:09

I thought you wanted a separate section for unions..my misunderstanding 🙄

paddyann Sat 09-Feb-19 14:14:49

well they certainly aren't doing what their members pay them to do.Unite paid over £3 million to fight against the equal pay for women cause in glasgow they took the side of the Labour council.Now SNP are in power( in Glasgow) the case has been settled and despite being told that was the case the union pulled them out on strike .The union has now turned its attention to the Teachers and bringing them out on strike DESPITE an offer of 9% this April and another 3 % by next April .Now I wonder why they're doing that when Teachers across the UK are only being offered 3% and being told to accept it?Wouldn't be "political" would it?

Its SNP bad regardless of how much good they do ..or are the unions and the Labour party in cahoots ......

kittylester Sat 09-Feb-19 14:15:08

I'd take cover if I was you annie. Let me lead the way! grin

PECS Sat 09-Feb-19 14:31:38

Sorry paddyann I don't follow your post. UNITE/ Teachers union...we are talking different unions.... conused I am!

PECS Sat 09-Feb-19 14:33:23

Most Unions are now toothless tigers. Certainly Teaching Unions!

Anniebach Sat 09-Feb-19 15:04:47

PECS yes a thread on the power of unions, you see no connection between unions and politics , I do .

Anniebach Sat 09-Feb-19 15:06:26

Lead the way kitty. 😀

M0nica Sat 09-Feb-19 15:21:50

The place for the unions is in the workplace, especially in the current situation, where so many people have zero hours contracts and more work in the gig economy.

I worked for a large privatised utility and was very grateful for the support of the union, when I believed a manager was discriminating against me. They were excellent in pay and condition negotiations.

However the Unions have gone badly wrong and repelled millions of workers who would otherwise have benefited from Union membership by their over-involvement in national politics and their very close connection to the Labour Party.

I fully understand that the Labour Party grew out of the Unions, but that was a long time ago at a time when there were really only two political classes, well demarcated lines between a working class (mainly Labour) and middle class (mainly Conservative). Nowadays those class boundaries have long gone. There are many more parties for people to support and support for Labour runs across all social groups.

The bond between Labour and the Unions should be severed and the unions should go back to their original purposes of helping members in the workplace in direct practical ways and lobbying (only) political parties on social issues that directly affect their members.

At the moment the Unions are concentrating their money and energies in trying to shape the Labour party in their image and look good on a national stage, when they should be doing neither of these things.

I believe that no corporate body should be able to contribute funds to a political party or campaigning organistaion. They should be entirely dependent on personal donations.

I remain a member(retired) of Unison, as I was when I was working.

maryeliza54 Sat 09-Feb-19 15:30:07

The problem is Monica is if the underpinning philosophy of a political party is low taxes and small state, the chances are that there will be many more wealthy individuals who will donate. How can there be a level playing field re party donations? Even with the current rules, there is much rule bending and many examples of how the better off are able to buy access to the ears of those in power

Anniebach Sat 09-Feb-19 15:35:18

I agree MOnica, the unions were formed to fight for workers not to run the country

notanan2 Sat 09-Feb-19 15:38:21

Unite gives the option to opt out of your membership directly funding the labour party but its not enough and some people wont join because of party ties

dbDB77 Sat 09-Feb-19 15:38:30

Yes Monica - I agree with your post. I am a retired life-member of my TU and whilst working I enjoyed the benefits of the terms & conditions that my union had fought for & won over many years.
Sadly now I think that the unions have lost their way. They have amalgamated to such an extent that there are only a few huge unions and they represent the public sector and ex-nationalised industries. They use their clout to support some excessive wage claims (recent example London tube drivers) and meanwhile the pay & conditions in the private sector deteriorate.
I also agree that unions should not be able to make political donations - unless every member gives their personal permission and chooses which political party they want their donation to go to - not every union member is a Labour voter.

PECS Sat 09-Feb-19 15:48:37

Anniebach as a union member all my working life and still now, of course I link unionism with politics. For me union membership is a part of my political identity. Those who only join a union as an insurance policy may not have the same involvement as others who join to be part of a movement. I have marched under my union banner on many political demonstrations. For me unions and the Labour party are inextricably linked.
Financial rules for funding of political parties do need overhaul. It is appalling that people who own big businesses and wealthy capitalists can make donations to the Tory party as individuals to buy favour/ backhanders for contracts. We do need to create an open and honest system for corporate, union or private donations to any political party. We should also limit more securely monies spent on campaigning.

Anniebach Sat 09-Feb-19 15:51:45

No difference in capitalists making donates to unions making donations

PECS Sat 09-Feb-19 15:58:17

annie please take time to actually read my post. I am saying it is time for ALL money donated to political parties to be better scrutinised. Are you really a,Labour supporter?

notanan2 Sat 09-Feb-19 15:58:39

Which is why the two should separate PECS.

Ppl would feel able to get more active in their union at a local level if was less entangled with the labour party.

For ppl who want to be involved in both, be involved in both separately.

notanan2 Sat 09-Feb-19 16:02:59

Its bad that people feel they have to forego the insurance of union membership in order to have political integrity!

I am a union member (opting out of directly supporting labour) and it makes me feel like a hypocrite as I hate labour! So I could never get more involved, much as I would like to from the point of view of supporting and advocating for other workers

PECS Sat 09-Feb-19 16:04:41

For many of us that would be a backward step. We need our unions, first & foremost, to be fighting for the well being of its members. That sometimes might mean a campaign against a government ( not just Tory) to ensure workers rights, h& s, conditions etc are not eroded. Because unions are rooted in socialism they also work in solidarity with working people all over the world.. it is an international movement.

notanan2 Sat 09-Feb-19 16:06:54

That makes no sense to me since my workplace, conditions and pay were most royally **ed under labour..

notanan2 Sat 09-Feb-19 16:09:05

The union should have been advocating for those of us on the shop floor not bleeting support for the party that was doing it to us.

I actually took a career break at that time. It became so hard to enjoy my job.

I do like my job FWIW.

A union that only fights certain governments is not fit for purpose

notanan2 Sat 09-Feb-19 16:13:14

If you spoke to a union rep at the time they spoke about the governemt as "we"
Yes but WE are doing good in other areas. But WE are working towards XYZ etc..

They could not objectively take on board our shop floor criticisms or feedback of how the changes brought in under labour negatively impacted us. Or how inefficient and wasteful programs that labour had thrown money at were etc

PECS Sat 09-Feb-19 16:13:57

Notana trouble is people do like to pik'n mix! They want the protection & benefits that unions and their long
and hard fought strength & history bring.. but it was won because of the Labour movement.