Union members take a turn to the Left

Johannes Schneider Johannes.Schneider at gmx.net
Wed Jun 6 14:08:34 MDT 2001

>From today's London Times


Union members take a turn to the Left


Prospect of unrest grows as members reject leaders who are close to new

YOU may not think it from the election campaign and Labour's relentless
shift to the right, but the Left is on the march. The result is likely to
mean more industrial unrest.
Hard-left groups such as the Socialist Alliance may not win any
parliamentary seats tomorrow but they are making strong inroads in another
area - the trade unions.

Far-left consolidation in the unions has been growing steadily, with many
activists claiming substantial Labour converts as traditional supporters
become increasingly disillusioned.

The Socialist Alliance (which is the combined forces of the Socialist
Workers Party, the Communist Party of Great Britain, the Socialist Party -
itself formed from the Militant Tendency - and a group of other hard-left
organisations) has the public endorsement of nearly 400 trade union
representatives. Its manifesto, which calls for big tax rises for business
and individuals, an end to privatisation and a minimum hourly wage of £7.40,
has also been personally backed by Mark Serwotka, general secretary-elect of
the Public and Commercial Services Union, a 258,000-strong union that has
members in senior Civil Service positions.
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