Sunday, 24 June 2012

Global labour solidarity: Alive and well


I had hoped to report on the recent victory over Nestle by the International Union of Foodworkers (IUF), but as ever workload has kept me from the blog.

Yes we can! Global trade union pressure is just as relevant and vital
today as it always has been
And, in any case, there is a piece on this by Eric Lee on the 'In These Times' site. Naturally this will be much better written and informed than anything I write, so I thought that the least I could do was promote Eric's article and ask that you read it:

These victories are essential not just for the workers directly involved - but of course who are the priority - but for the message it sends to multinationals and governments.

The significant boost that it gives to trade unionists on the ground is also welcome. What the piece reminded me of, as I have written of previously here, is that as the private sector continues to make inroads into public sector service delivery, this kind of international co-operation will be more important than ever.

The arrogance of the multinationals isn't surprising (why would it be?) but we should be very concerned when they suggest that the public don't care about privatisation and the implications for service delivery.

In a Guardian piece on Wenesday David Taylor-Smith, G4S head of operations for Africa and the UK, said starkly that, when it comes to manages and runs a police force, the public "don't really care":

Really? Says who Mr. Taylor-Smith? I think he forgets the public concern around crime and that, should G4S cock-up - which they shall - they will be royally condemned for attempting to profit, quite literally from crime.

This is also a reason why mainstream trade unionists should be backing any attempt to block privatisation by uniformed and non-uniformed police staff. The uniformed staff issue is controversial I know, but rank and file officers are now getting a political awakening and realising that a Conservative party im government is not their natural ally.

So, if we can combine in the mutual interest of limiting the privatisation of the criminal justice sector in the UK, then we should go right ahead. In fact, the onus is on the Police Federation to use the 20th October demo as a signal to the labour movement that solidarity action is possible.

Interesting times indeed!

In Solidarity


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