In what may become a semi-regular feature here are the union related stories that have caught my attention this week.
The shadow Chancellor John Mcdonnell MP has bowed to Northern Irish delegate concerns at the Prison Officers Association conference had withdrawn from his speaking engagement despite being minutes from stage when he made the decision given controversial comments McDonnell had made about the IRA. Steve Gillan, the union’s General Secretary in a statement reported by the Guardian said “John McDonnell asked to be excused from addressing this year’s conference as he wanted to avoid any distractions from the union’s policy making discussions and campaigning plans.”
Long standing president of the PCS Union Janice Godrich has announced on her she will be seeking election to replace Chris Baugh as Assistant General Secretary of the Union by seeking the nomination of the Left Unity faction and has received the support of Mark Serwotka in that decision. The Socialist Party are suggesting, bizarrely, that this is a “divisive step that threatens a split on the left.” It’s worth noting that Janice has not declared she is standing against Chris Baugh in the election itself but is seeking to win an election for nomination within the Left Unity faction to go forward as Left Unity’s candidate and I would expect whomever loses that election to honour the result and not stand for AGS in the PCS election proper next year.
Former Unite General Secretary candidate and dismissed union official Gerard Coyne has lost one of his legal challenges to Len McCluskey’s re-election as General Secretary. The challenge was focussed on whether, in calling an election before his five year term was complete McCluskey broke union rules. Coyne has announced he has appealed the Certification Officer’s decision to the Employment Appeal Tribunal. For my part, having read the judgement I think the decision is the right one but Coyne’s appeal is perhaps stronger than the political commentators such as Swawkbox suggest.