PCS to ‘join’ Unite?

April 23, 2014 at 11:01 am (posted by JD, unions, Unite the union)

 Above: Len McCluskey of Unite (left) and Mark Serwotka of PCS

A report (below) that should be of interest and, perhaps, concern, to members of both Unite and PCS. I have yet to be convinced of the industrial logic of this proposed lash-up. In addition, as PCS is not affiliated to the Labour Party, it could give a boost to those stupid/sectarian elements within Unite who want to disaffiliate from Labour:

“The Special Executive on Thursday agreed to sanction the commencement of
formal talks with PCS, following a period of exploratory talks. This will
not be a merger but a transfer of engagements, in which PCS will agree (or
not agree?) by ballot to join UNITE. Therefore there is not expected to be
any significant change to the Rule Book though it may require minor
technical changes. In other words there is not expected to be any disruption
to UNITE and/or its members and officers/staff as a result of the transfer
of engagement.
“PCS would bring with it some 200,000-230,000 members almost all of whom
would form a new industrial sector in UNITE for civil servants. The
remaining private sector members would be allocated to the appropriate UNITE
industrial sector e.g. GPM and IT Comms? One of the attractions is that
UNITE would be a stronger voice for public sector workers linking up Health,
Local Authority, MOD & Gov Depts with PCS’ Civil Servants. Politically PCS
sees itself as a fighting back union like UNITE and we do not expect
difficulties there. We still do not know what financial liablities this
would bring but due diligence would apply in formal talks and if the
implications are not acceptable this could of course be a deal breaker
“There was a small vote ( 5 or 6?) against the proposal from some UNITE NOW
and other non-UL exec members.”

(From the United Left email list)


  1. PCS to ‘join’ Unite? | OzHouse said,

    […] Apr 23 2014 by admin […]

  2. Andrew Coates said,


  3. R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    Should we not be in favour of bigger and stronger unions in principle?

    I also continue to be puzzled by the AWL’s position on Labour – if it is so vital that unions continue to be affiliated then how can you justify not joining (or rejoining) Labour yourselves?

    Or is this an esoteric matter we should maintain a Straussian silence on?

    • Jim Denham said,

      Roger: I don’t see the contradiction: at the moment, breaking with Labour would, quite obviously mean a de-politicisation of the trade union movement. To recognise that is not, necessarily, the same thing as advocating a blind, timeless, loyalty to Labour.

  4. Matthew Thompson said,

    As with the sacking of David Moyes by Manchester United, the key to understanding this is “follow the money”. While there is no industrial logic to it, it would bail out PCS which has been hit by both the growing expense of paying for the pensions of full-time officers, whose numbers have expanded significantly in the decade since the Socialist Party took control of the union, and a decline in subs caused by civil service redundancies over the same period and, more recently, the Government moving to end automatic check-off in several Departments and withdrawing facility time, thus restricting the ability of reps to recruit/get members to sign up to alternative payment methods.

  5. PCS to 'join' Unite? | Shiraz Socialist | wunite.org said,

    […] Continue reading here: PCS to 'join' Unite? | Shiraz Socialist […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: