Thursday, 24 October 2013

Unite to make concessions at Grangemouth?

NEWS this morning suggests that the union UNITE is willing to make concessions over the 'survival plan' set out by the bosses at Grangemouth, Ineos, which will see changes to workers' terms and conditions.  This news will upset the National Shop Stewards Network which today congratulated the 'Unite members and their shop stewards at Grangemouth for their refusal to be bullied'.  In a statement today the National Shop Stewards Network [NSSN] said:  'The announcement by Ineos that they intend to pullout of the Grangemouth petrochemical site with the threatened loss of up to 800 jobs is an act of corporate vandalism.'

Alas, it seems they [the NSSN] spoke too soon as the union Unite is now seemingly clamouring to do a deal with Ineos.  It doesn't seem that the union has the guts to organise an occupation of the plant or put it under workers' control as may have happened in the 1970s. 

Because the NSSN is a front for the Socialist Party, and that party ideologically is mired in the the 'marching together' school of politics that dates back to the middle of the last century with calls for endless nationalisation of everything, the best and most forward looking elements of the NSSN left that organisation three years ago when the Socialist Party forced out the then independent-minded chairman, Dave Chapple, the independent socialists and the young syndicalists leaving a claque orchestrated by ageing trots such as Linda Taaffe and Bill Mullins, supported by Alex Gordon of the RMT.  These people have now led the NSSN over a cliff at Grangemouth and now vainly 'Call on the Scottish government and UK governments to immediately bring Grangemouth into democratic public ownership to secure jobs and investment. To also support public ownership with majority participation by workers and the trade unions in the running of the plant.'  Some hopes!

This merely illustrates that the British left have no real program or strategy for social change beyond a trip down memory lane back to the ideas of Old Labour of the last century.  God Help Us!

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