[A-List] Britain's pitiful labour aristocracy
Michael.Keaney at mbs.fi
Tue Mar 12 02:11:25 MST 2002
TUC rift over Tory talks
Tuesday March 12, 2002
A prominent Blairite union leader last night threatened to pull out of
the TUC over moves by John Monks to establish a dialogue with the
Sir Ken Jackson, joint general secretary of the industrial giant Amicus,
accused Mr Monks of being "naive" and claimed unions would be used as
"simply pawns in a game being played to undermine the government".
The attack on the TUC general secretary was launched as Mr Monks
prepared to meet Michael Howard, the shadow chancellor, and David
Willetts, the shadow work and pensions secretary, tomorrow to discuss
Sir Ken said: "John Monks has been sold a pup. If he thinks that the
Tories care about pensions, manufacturing and public sector workers then
he is suffering from acute amnesia. My members don't want to be part of
an organisation that takes Iain Duncan Smith seriously. If John Monks
wants to work with the Tories then we will consider our position within
the TUC very carefully."
The head of Amicus, Britain's second largest union with 1 million
members and the biggest affiliated to the Labour party, also criticised
plans by Mr Monks to foster closer links with Charles Kennedy, the
leader of the Liberal Democrats.
A spokeswoman for Unison, which represents 1.3m public service workers,
said: "The Tories would privatise, the Lib Dems would privatise, so is
there much value in talking to them?"
John Edmonds, head of the GMB general workers' union, said: "The Lib
Dems are a bigger shambles than the government over public services. We
would sit down with the devil if it would protect our members' rights,
yet even we might balk at Michael Howard."
Mr Monks said: "We paid a very high price between 1979 and 1997 for the
Tory party's lack of understanding of the trade union movement. The
Conservative party asked for this meeting. It would have been wrong and
discourteous to refuse."
Full article at:
Mercuria Business School
michael.keaney at mbs.fi
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