“Those who argue that unions wanting to negotiate – the majority – have ‘sold out’ and undermined trade union solidarity need to get to grips with the complexities of public sector pensions, serious areas of weakness in membership density and organisation, sectoral bargaining arrangements in the public sector. Only when they have done that should they decide whether there is a route to getting everything we want through industrial action".
UNISON Head of Local Government Heather Wakefield responds to an analysis of the November 30 Public Sector Strike over pensions by academic Gregor Gall in Red Pepper.
They are responsible to their members not the grand designs of tiny ultra left fringe groups. Let me be very clear. By an overwhelming majority, the elected lay leadership of UNISON voted to continue negotiations over pensions.
There are some who appear to believe that public sector workers will "rally to the cause" and strike regardless of membership densities, steward structures and bargaining position. This is simply untrue. We are not stupid. We are not cannon fodder. It shows a complete and fundamental misunderstanding of British trade unionism.