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Union power

(91 Posts)
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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

Lead the way kitty. 😀

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 .

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

Most Unions are now toothless tigers. Certainly Teaching Unions!

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!

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

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

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 ......

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

I thought you wanted a separate section for misunderstanding 🙄

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

This is a political 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 13:50:02

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