And said so at the 2012 conference.
It was during a speech about closer working with Unite – which is code for working towards a merger with Unite. The General Secretary had been pressured by Dave Vincent, an MoJ activist, as to what Mark Serwotka, as a person, thought of a merger. In his right of reply, the GS, recalled an incident when Dave Vincent and himself were stuck in a lift for an hour and how he had persuaded Dave Vincent to change his mind on supporting selective action.
It is not only Mark Serwotka who let the “cat out of the bag”; Kevin McHugh, the Vice President, in opposing a membership levy, gave one reason for doing so -that the levy would fund selective action. Of course regardless of what the leadership say or don’t say, in practice they have set their face against the use of selective action.
Now for us the use of selective action is not a principle; we think it is a useful tactic in the right situation. We think at the moment that it’s use, along with as much all-members action as can be sustained, would further our campaign over jobs, pay and pensions.
Unfortunately the leadership do not think the same; they, on principle are opposed to selective action. But they are not honest about this. They know that many members, and an increasing number of activists, think that selective action is of use. Instead of openly opposing these members and activists the leadership have invented the dishonest formula that as regards industrial action tactics they ‘rule nothing out’. Of course this, as shown above, is not true. They don’t want an honest debate as they fear they may lose it so instead they pretend a stance that is not true. We, of course, shall continue to challenge the leadership over the use of tactics; too much is at stake not to.