Vestas: Unite in the graveyard

July 25, 2009 at 3:54 pm (Champagne Charlie, unions, workers)

According to reports that have reached me today, the Vestas workers, presently occupying their factory in the Isle of Wight, have been signed up to membersip of the RMT. This is because RMT general secretary Bob Crow visited the occupation, promised and delivered practical support and publicly championed the occupation. The majority of Vestas workers were not previously in a union, but those that were, were in Unite. Unite did virtually nothing to support the occupation. Unite’s assistant general secretary Les Bayliss (presently being touted by the soft-left ‘Workers Uniting’ grouping within Unite  -Derek Simpson’s loyalists – as  general secretary candidate next year) reputedly said of the Vestas membership, “they’re just twenty members”.  Bob Crow is a bullshitting Stalinist with some quite filthy politics, and the RMT’s record of trying to poach London Underground cleaners from the T&G/Unite has been opportunist and counter-productive for the cleaners. But at Vestas, in the face of Unite’s inaction who can blame him? Or blame the workers for signing up with the RMT?


  1. DO said,

    Yeah, but other unions have been ‘opportunist’ in signing up people who should be in RMT. Nautilus International – Numast as was – has been recruiting shipping ratings, for instance. Better unionised than not, I say.

  2. Janine said,

    Sorry? RMT poaching railway workers in the cleaning grade from Unite? Are you having a laugh? Railway cleaners have been in the RMT since it was the bloody ASRS over 100 years ago. They are railway workers, so it is not poaching to recruit them to an all-grades railway union is it? Unless you think that RMT should change its self-definition to a union for all grades except cleaners. And on what possible basis could you argue that?!

  3. Jim Denham said,

    Janine: the RMT’s “poaching” of London Underground cleaners has been a counter-productive excercise that has not resulted in any gains for the cleaners. In fact it has fucked up the cleaners’ campaign.

    Crow’s opportunism and ultra-left posturing has brought no gains for the LU cleaners.

    The Vestas campaign is an entirely different matter: Unite has let those workers down very badly, and no-one could blame them for joining the RMT, or blame Crow for recruiting them.

  4. Chris said,

    I always admire a leftist willing to slag Crow, a disgusting racist who does a good line in bullshit

    • blerergg ococmementrarayrer said,

      chris relly is a shitheed,

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