At the early December 2014 NEC meeting, the general secretary reported to the NEC that he had written to Len McCluskey of Unite outlining the PCS policy on “joining forces” with Unite. He reported that he had met with Mr McCluskey in November and undertook to update the NEC on any developments at the next meeting in January.
The Independent Left believes that the NEC’s suspension of elections is related to the efforts of the central leadership to steer PCS into Unite (whatever NEC members were actually told regarding the suspension of elections – most of the 13 who voted for suspending democracy are voting sheep).
The core leadership (the shepherds if you wish) need to submerge into Unite because:
• Senior officers’ huge salaries and associated pensions would be protected.
• They would be inside a financially secure trade union having handed over the proceeds from the sale of PCS HQ to Unite.
• The ruling regime could look forward to running the Unite Public Sector Group and without having to ever accept its responsibility for the shockingly incompetent manner in which has led PCS (they would not willingly give up the leadership of an independent trade union to play second fiddle in Unite).
• They would in fact preside over a wider and more securely based public sector membership.
• The Socialist Party would have high hopes of dominating Unite’s own “left wing” grouping through the much bigger PCS Left Unity membership and indeed of linking up with those with an apparent desire to disaffiliate Unite from the Labour Party.
• By effectively moving PCS elections to later in 2015 or indeed to 2016 (they are reserving the right not hold a vote for up to 12 months) the NEC move PCS more in line with the constitutional structures of Unite.
• The suspension of elections and talk of bankruptcy might bring an otherwise recalcitrant PCS Conference into line on Unite merger and even if it doesn’t the self-elected NEC would be beyond Conference’s control if it steers PCS into Unite.
The core leadership, Mark Serwotka and the Socialist Party, cannot risk an election as they might lose seats and so not be as dominant as presently they are, or worse still they might even lose the NEC. Rather than run that risk and therefore the chance to ‘save’ the union by destroying it by a lash up with Unite, they self-elect themselves into continuing power.
If you can suspend elections you certainly ignore any conference decision regarding a (sub) merger with Unite. The core leadership is now going for broke; they are desperate to join up with that union. As their actions show they are sufficiently ruthless as to deny ordinary members a say in who runs the union; do you think they will allow delegates a greater say? Let members have a vote!!