More on Grangemouth

October 30, 2013 at 8:21 pm (AWL, Jim D, scotland, truth, TUC, unions, Unite the union, workers)

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Given the scale of the defeat, and the massive political implications for the left and for trade unionism as a whole, we make no apologies for a further post on Grangemouth.

A comrade writes:

The ‘offical’ Unite line on Grangemouth seems to be:

1) Ratcliffe wanted to impose worse terms and conditions. Unite in Grangemouth opposed this. Members voted for rejection of the new terms and conditions. The issue here was: opposing new terms and conditions.
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2) Then Ratcliffe says he is going to close Grangemouth. The issue therefore changed. Now the issue was: keeping Grangemouth open. To keep Grangemouth open, it was legitimate/necessary to accept the new terms and conditions.
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3) The decision to accept the new terms and conditions can be judged only against the situation referred to in (2), not against the situation referred to in (1).
.

A more sophisticated version of the above can be found in an unsigned article on the STUC website, which uses the theme of ‘the demise of the industrial correspondent’ as a way of explaining the chain of events which led to Unite’s decision to accept the new terms and conditions. The article has clearly been written by someone with ‘inside knowledge’. It’s equally clear from the article, assuming that it is accurate on this point (and I think that it is), that the convenors (and, by extension, the shop stewards committee) took the decision to accept the new terms and conditions (i.e. it was not a decision imposed on them by McCluskey, and certainly not by the Unite Scottish Regional Secretary Pat Rafferty, who is incapable of imposing anything on anyone).

The STUC article is at: http://stucbetterway.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/grangemouth-and-demise-of-industrial.html
 
Meanwhile, Workers Liberty have published another very well informed piece that calls for a reassessment of the traditional, crude “bureaucracy vs rank and file” approach in the light of what happened at Grangemouth.

3 Comments

  1. More on Grangemouth | OzHouse said,

    […] Oct 30 2013 by admin […]

  2. Mike Killingworth said,

    Pat Rafferty, who is incapable of imposing anything on anyone.

    Is this a childish way of saying that the man’s actually a democrat? If “a comrade” is typical of the labour movement leadership in this dispute I am much less surprised that Ratcliffe pulled the switch he did.

    It reminds me of my own days as a convenor steward (in NALGO – God help me, I’m so old that was its name then) – management knew that when they dealt with us they were dealing with people who, whatever their other faults, didn’t get pissed until the meeting was over.

  3. Andrew Coates said,

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