Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Letter from a new union bureaucrat to those he left behind

Guest post from Comrade Eitingon. "Dear John's Labour blog. This letter (see scans left - double click to bring up detail) was recently sent to all members of a trade union branch.

I was surprised to read that it was from its branch secretary, who announced that since his substantive job had been privatised by the Council and he would now not be able to have paid facility time off to carry out his union functions, he was giving up his job and joining a trade union as a full time official.

Now, I happen to think that it is a good idea that a trade union recruits from its lay membership but this branch secretary is a supporter of the ultra left sect SPEW, who has constantly attacked such "unelected" full time trade union officials as "bureaucrats".  Yet he gives up being a lay rep to become a unelected full time official? What is wrong doing a worthwhile job while being a normal shop steward?

Also a trade union rep should be there to protect and defend their members and if a service is being privatised then members need their union rep even more than ever. Surely the union rep should follow the members in order to defend and not just leave them in the lurch?

Did you try and leave your members and get a bureaucrats job when
your job was privatised John?

Finally I understand that this strike ballot he called on his first day as a full time union bureaucrat had to be withdrawn - because he messed up the paperwork.

Yours Nahum Eitingon".

UPDATE: Onay Kasab has claimed that he sent this letter. Check comments.


Anonymous said...

spew doesn't care about the workers, they are just cannon fodder, it all about personal ambition and being the great leader who will bring about the "revolution".

Anonymous said...

spot on comrade Eitingon

onay kasab said...

I really do not have the time to deal with every inaccuracy, omission or half truth. Instead I will concentrate on the last point, which refers to the Unite campaign in defence of library workers in Greenwich. Two days of strike action took place which closed 11 libraries out of 13 and which won huge public support. The employers then resorted to threatening legal action, something which employers have done since the introduction of the anti-trade union laws and something which we have had to cope with time and again. This had nothing to do with not submitting papers - instead it was an argument on a legal point. We did as many have done previously. We suspended the action and protected our members by preparing to issue a new notice that dealt with the legal issue. In the meanwhile and as a direct result of the campaign, the employers offered negotiations. We engaged and our members won the guarantees that they had been seeking.
Unite members in libraries in Greenwich, yes the same ones who left Unison in disgust, have won a marvelous victory. They deserve our congratulations, rather than being used as an excuse for yet another opportunity to attack me.
I can cope with being attacked personally - even if the obsession of some is becoming a tad creepy.But what is deplorable, is that rather than concentrate on recognising an excellent victory won by trade union members, some choose to twist facts and use it as an excuse to score void political points.
So here is the challenge. Despite our efforts, Greenwich Unison failed to offer a message of support to the strikers while support poured in from across London, including other Unsion branches. Put them to shame and offer a message of congratulation to the Greenwich Unite members who won this victory. But I shall not hold my breath - I think there is more chance of Port Vale winning the FA Cup.

John Gray said...

Hi Onay

Was this about you then? I didn't realise!

Anonymous said...


The strike was so successful that no one locally noticed. Perhaps it was a intentional irony to hold a quiet strike over libraries.

The 'guarantees' were there from the start. The strike was a pointless confrontation designed to support the SPEW front TUSC in the London elections (who following the drubbing they got last week are now known as the “0.8%ers”).

They couldn't shut the two biggest libraries one of which is the workplace of the libraries convenor and fellow SPEW member.

The legal point was about as basic as could be. You can't transfer a ballot and notices from one employer to another.

onay kasab said...

Hello anonymous, what a pity you choose to hide behind a blog. The guarantees were not there from the start. The report that went to Cabinet, under "method statement 4" made clear that a downward harmonisation process would begin. Further, the Council offered a deal where this would be put off for two years. Our members rejected this and won an assurance that no harmonisation would take place and that there would be no time limit attached to this promise.
As for nobody noticing, you obviously do not live or work in Greenwich. As well as extensive local media coverage, the dispute was covered nationally and also in the various library publications. We won massive public support, evidenced by the responses to the Unite survey that we ran.
The action closed 11 out of 13 libaries and highlighted the dangers of privatisation.The campaign also saved the mobile library - it was our campaign that drew public attention to the fact that the mobile service was not included in the report that went to Cabinet and which led to an amendment that kept the mobile libary as part of the service required to be provided.
These workers deserve our congratulations - how brave of you to instead anonymously claim that the strike was pointless and to mock the fact that two libraries stayed open out of 13.
Your rather purile comment about quiet strikes and libraries probably sums you up.
It certainly is not the case that the legal question was simple.
But I do not expect you to let facts get in the way of you having a go. I do however issue the challenge again, forget about the fact that Socialist Party members were involved in the dispute and instead congratulate the trade union members, the majority of whom are not in the Socialist Party on what was a prncipled stand.

Anonymous said...

maybe because I have been real member of Unite in Greenwich for many years and has seen what SPEW has done now they have taken over our branch and got rid of everyone who does not support them.

You are being untruthful about the reasons for the "strike". Our management were no doubt incompetent but it was engineered purely to cause a strike in the run up the London elections to support tiny extremist cult SPEW were supporting. No other reason.

I have been told by my steward that the branch deliberately failed to tell unison about the strike.

The legal principle was simple. In the rush to call a strike at all costs it was overlooked. This makes the union seem incompetent.

Anonymous said...

"SPEW front TUSC ............ are now known as the “0.8%ers”

I'd prefer to describe tham as "half as popular as Spoilt ballots"

Although, 0.8% is probably less than random.........

Anonymous said...

So does this mean the dispute is resolved and no more strikes? Two days pay lost for what? The same protection offered to any employee under TUPE.

onay kasab said...

Enough. This is ludicrous. I have attempted to put the facts in as fraternal a way as possible only to be met by more nonsense.
We took legal advice prior to the ballot which supported our position. The suspension of action was to avoid a legal wrangle and ensure our members did not face disciplinary action.
The campaign has given our members assurances they did not have prior to the action, but in addition the action has sent a clear message to GLL to keep its hansds off our members pay and conditions.
As for Unison not knowing anything, we made a widely distributed call for support. It is strange how individual Unison reps and members managed to send messages of support and organise collections - but the Unison leadership knew nothing.
As for the effect on the branch since Socialist Party members joined and won elections - can you name one bad thing that has happened as a direct result? It is one of the fastest growing Unite branches in local government, it has organised large branch meetings, stewards meetings take place every month, a number of major organising initiatives have been implemented, there is a good layer of trained stewards and significant gains have been won for members.
Nobody has been got rid of - elections have taken place and "real" Unite members have chosen there representatives.
You have no evidence whatsoever for your insulting comment that the dispute was engineered to support the TUSC campaign. Instead you choose to make insulting allegations and hide behind anonimity.
As I said enough - I will not respond any further to your wild accusations. The nonsense you are writing has no support amongst members.Instead I will continue to engage with "real" Unite members and build our union. I would invite you to do the same, but you obviously prefer bitter rants against Socialists from the safety of your computer.

Eitingon said...

Let us get back to my original post which I think is important and has not been responded to at all:-

Kasab (it is he) has spent his entire political life attacking "unelected" full time union officials/bureaucrats. Yet he is now one?

Kasab substantive post was as a boss of a team that became privatised.

Kasab instead of staying with his team when they were privatised and needed him the most jumped ship and became a union bureaucrat?

Is this true or fair? If not why not?

Anonymous said...

TUSC ha ha ha 0.8%

Nellist ha hah ha
Unite 10th May ha ha ha

Unites love in with swp/swp is a joke

Anonymous said...

full time officer - who voted for you

socialist party activists taken the shilling

lets see him oppose the local gov sell out ??

Anonymous said...

Fraternal? From what you had said on this post do you really, really know what that word means?

So you admit you did not bother to inform the other unions in Greenwich you were carrying out this strike action? But you did tell the SPEW website?

Solidarity bro..

OMG My branch has been taken over by wild strike chasers from other unions who have kicked out all those long standing unite activists who oppose them. No wonder I have to retain my anonymity. My job is under threat due to this government cuts. They will not lift a finger to protect anyone who does not take the SPEW line.

Ironically, we use to get loads of ex unison members join us who were fed up being used as strike fodder by you in unison. Now you and SPEW are in unite they will be going back to unison. I want to remain in my union but if this sort of pointless far left strike, strike, strike to bring about revolution continues I will have to leave.

Please Mr General Secretary, Len, will anyone in unite save us from these political fanatics who have been put in charge of us?

onay kasab said...

Ok Ettington. I was not the boss of the unit I worked in. Further, there was a very public campaign to save the service I worked in -this fully involved the staff and concentrated on a plea to labour councillors to see sense. This failed and the decision was made to go ahead. The staff made the decision to stop campaigning and I respected that decision. Further, it was made very clear to me that come the transfer my post would be cut.But I have already made these points in my original letter.
To those "real" Unite members who still claim that people were got rid of - its actually called an election. When I stood as Branch Secretary, my opponent got 14 votes to my 147. At the elections this week for Assistant Branch Secretary, the winning candidate got 87 votes and the losing candidate got 6. These elections were scrutinised by long time Unite members not in the Socialist Party.
You speak for nobody but yourself. It is incredible that not a single message of support has been given from you to the library Unite members.
I responded again, despite saying I would not because of the question asked by Etington.
But I really have no further intention of replying again. Instead, concerned Unite members can demand a branch meeting and put your concerns to the members and see how much support you get, rather than hiding and hurling insults from behind the anonimity of your bloggs.

Anonymous said...

1ST health brigade doff our caps to Nahum Eitingon, Rat leaves his follow union members to face the pain, the Capt should be the last to leave the ship, didnt this chump use 13 grand [yes 13 grand ] of his members money. to put his picture on london buses? the dudes a clown, unite are welcome to this self serving noddy,

Anonymous said...

May 10th was a Dud ! uNITE have been hijacked by nutters with a trot agenda, the rank and file deserve better, While Rome burns, loons with a sp/swp agenda sell there souls and there members out, nice work chump !

Anonymous said...

Onay you were a manager/team leader, Principle Officer grade "a boss"? I’ve been told that your job was never under threat. You just didn't want to be a rep when you lost your facility time.

I like the vast majority of unite members have never been to a union meeting. I do have firsthand accounts of the manipulation, intimidation and vote rigging.

Why is it that until a year or two my branch was run by "normal" members with hardly any SPEW members? Now within a year or two nearly all the top jobs are filled by SPEW members? Many of whom have no history in Unite?

Why our branch? SPEW is a tiny cult like organisation with only a thousand or so members nationally. In the recent London elections it's front only got 0.8% of the vote. Yet they "win" nearly all the top jobs in our branch?

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering how long the probationary period is for new Employees of Unite? And whether they are or ar not supposed to contact the media, including posting on blogs?

a real socialist party member said...

anonymous Greenwich unite member your branch has been taken over by the newspaper sellers. Your own fault really for not turning up to your union meetings and letting them get away with it.

Isn't it ironic that this newspaper seller attacks anti-trade union laws when he and his fellow newspaper sellers are using the same Tory laws to attack their former union. Hypocrites.

As for becoming unelected full time officials after all they have said about them?: hypocrites.

They are not real socialists. They are Trotskyite state capitalists

onay kasab said...

Bravely said anonymous.
I repeat, I was not the manager, team leader or boss of my section. I am sure that the team leader would be suprised to hear that I was.
Manipulation, vote rigging and intimidation? Where is your evidence? Last years elections were scrutinised by Regional Officials and long time Unite members who were not Socialist Party members, including people opposed to me standing. This years election was scrutinised by a long time Unite member who is no freind of the Socialist Party.
Feel free to be brave and call me names while remaining anonymous, but get the simple facts right and stop attacking what is a growing Union branch that is fighting to defend its members.

Walter Smith said...

I don't blame Greenwich Unite anonymous from being cautious. The SPEW is well known for being run by a bunch of thugs and lunatic fanatics who will do anything and sell anybody out to bring about "revolution". They do not believe that there is a democratic road to their politics and openly lust after civil war and the killing of their opponents.

Not nice people. Sad, brainwashed, losers with more in common with Scientology than Socialism.

Kasab ignores all your main points because he knows they are true. SPEW outsiders and extremists have targeted and taken over his branch committee. It’s as simple as that.

wally kennedy said...

Onay Kasab ... who are these cretins having a go at you and other members of Unite? From the comments I have read ... they do need to seek professional help. I know that stresses at work and working conditions can drive workers mad with a sense of injustice and rage ... these people attacking you seem however to be like juvenile, mindless morons who have more in common with the Bosses than with the workers ...

Vik Chechi said...

Kas - ignore this rubbish.

You have the continuing support of your branch members who (led by yourself) ran a successful strike and campaign against the cuts.

Shame on those belittling the efforts of rank and file members but supporting those Labour councillors who voted through massive cuts in Local Government jobs, pay and conditions. Like Wally said - they have more in common with bosses than workers.

Anonymous said...

wally the only cretins are members of the SPEW cult who think that there will be some revolution in this country led by Greenwich council workers. what a joke these people are. no wonder management get away with things. they laugh at us because they know that apart from a few mugs like you no real workers believes in what these cultist believes.

Walter Smith said...

what mugs indeed to be taken in by SPEW. how can you excuse someone who deserts his members when they need him the most to run off and become a fto?

remember that they would sell each and everyone of you to the bosses if they thought they would get facility time so they didn't have to do a proper days work

Eitingon said...

don't you thinks so? said...

it is amazing to see how SPEW and its believers keep on trying to defend the undefenceable.

They just do not release that they belong to a secretive brain washed cult which destroys family relationships and steals money from their damaged members.

Dominated by rich ex-public school upper and middle class twits who think that they should be in charge and boss about working people.

Nuf said?