Amicus/T&G merger

I'm a member of Amicus and I have just cast my vote in favour of the merger with the T&G, largely because I think we need more recruitment and more recruiters means more recruits. Trades unions are a vital part of civil society and key to the Labour Party, not only in terms of membership and funding, but in providing political education and, at times, a guiding hand on the tiller.

However, there is not a lot of information out there about the merger. Whether the right think they ought to be or not, trades unions are an important force in society particularly as Amicus, IG Metall and the United Steel Workers are set to form an international union and the merger of Amicus and the T&G will create a union of 2 million members in the UK. The newspapers - and in this I include the broadsheets - to go to the quick story and, while trade unions are not particularly “sexy” they are important and deserves coverage, not least so that members can make an informed choice on issues such as this.

The Guardian website has only one story this year about the merger. I'm sure there will be coverage of the event, but it will be bolting the stable door after the horse has bolted.

I've heard it said from time to time that striking is inherently immoral because you have voluntarily taken up a contract. The best answer to that I know of is:

Naturally, the workers are perfectly free; the manufacturer does not force them to take his materials and his cards, but he says to them...If you don’t like to be frizzled in my frying pan, you can take a walk into the fire.

To put it another way, there might be less inflammatory to some people, “freedom to starve is no freedom at all”; It is to say that even an exploitative contract is better than starvation but that having moved up one rung on the ladder does not mean he cannot move up another all that the slight generosity of the former oppressor removes your right to challenge their actions. I'm not a Communist, but it does put the argument rather well.



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