Huge left victory in PCS union (Britain)

Nigel Irritable nigel_irritable at
Thu Jul 10 11:25:43 MDT 2003

This is slightly belated news but I don't think that
it has been mentioned here and it is quite important.

The PCS union is the sixth biggest union in Britain.
It represents state employees. Over the last couple of
decades it (and its predecessor the CPSA) has been a
battle ground between the most right wing bureaucracy
of any union in the country and one of the best
organised lefts. The right has maintained control up
until recently when Mark Serwotka, a socialist, was
elected General Secretary.

That victory was followed by the election of Janice
Godrich as President. Godrich is a member of the
Scottish Socialist Party and of the CWI platform
within it.

The right wing majority on the union executive tried
to annull Serwotka's election and to strip Godrich of
most of her powers. This wasn't a new step for the PCS
bureaucracy. Their predecessors had managed to get the
courts to overturn the election of John McCreadie, a
supporter of Militant, as General Secretary in the
1980s. This time though, they lost in the courts.

Their attempted coup has backfired dramatically. Not
only did Serwotka and Godrich remain in place but last
week's union executive elections have resulted in a
landslide win for the left. In addition, Godrich has
just been reelected as President.

The PCS has moved from being one of the most right
wing unions to the most left wing in a very short

The NEC is the ruling body of the union. It has 43
seats which now break down as follows:

24 Left Unity (hard left)
9 PCS Democrats (centre)
1 Independent (centre)
5 Inland Revenue Membership First (right)
4 Moderates (hard right)

To give you a feeling for just how left wing Left
Unity is, here's a breakdown of some of its components
on the NEC:

Socialist Party (or CWI platform of SSP) - 7 seats
Scottish Socialist Party - 3 seats
Socialist Caucus (combining some small Trotskyist
groups with some independents) - 3 seats
Socialist Workers Party - 2 seats

I'll will post a proper article in the next couple of

Is mise le meas
Brian Cahill

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