We are seeing more and more unions being pushed by their members to take action against job losses and cuts – but what is the reaction of their leadership? Tony Woodley (leader of Unite) was on an interview on Channel 4 news about the BA cabin crew strike.
Gordon Brown said that BA’s cabin crew strike was “deplorable and unjustified”. When pressed by Jon Snow on Channel 4 News this week – “this is a Labour Prime Minister using these words, talking to someone who funds his party”, Tony Woodley (Unite general secretary) ducked the question, saying that the issue was “not political” and “not about the Labour Party”.
Woodley is wrong. He forgets that the whole reason the Labour Party was founded was to give working-class people a voice in Parliament. Unions fighting on the industrial front alone are fighting with one hand tied behind their back.
Brown is showing his true colours by backing the bosses rather than underpaid BA workers, while at the same time he has the hypocrisy to rake in £11m in members’ subscriptions from Unite over the last four years. This is why we call for unions such as Unite and Unison to disaffiliate from the Labour Party and why I am backing Roger Bannister in my union Unison for General Secretary, as he is the only candidate who is promising to do just that.
We need to replace leaders like Woodley with those on the same pay as their members, who will back their struggles and donate their hard-won subs to a genuine political alternative. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is a step in that direction. If Labour will not back workers’ disputes, then we need to replace it with a new party which will speak on behalf of the vast majority of people in society.
Please support TUSC in the general election and vote out the union bureaucrats who are still funding New Labour.