Helpful Trade Unionist

June 21, 2010 12:00 PM

It is very helpful to have the political agenda revealed behind trades union opposition to government spending cuts. Gary Heather, President of the Islington Trades Union Council, is calling for a day of protest in Islington on Budget Day.


His alternative to these necessary and overdue cuts is the following: ‘maintenance of public spending, creation of decent jobs, taxing the rich more, cracking down on tax avoidance, ending costly wars and nuclear weapons, and halting costly privatisation and marketisation by returning public and utility services to public ownership with decent direct labour jobs.’

Phew! I didn’t know foreign policy strategy fell within the remit of trades unions. I am also a little puzzled by how to define a ‘decent job’. Surely this manifesto is more appropriate to a political party than trades unions, and of course he is assuming that all Islington union members share the same political beliefs.

Is this what his job should be about? Seems like trades union members are paying Mr Heather, a full-time executive member of the Communication Workers Union, to spout his own rag-bag of political views, and that doesn’t sound like a ‘decent ‘ job to me... 

Tim Newark, Islington TPA

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