Rail: keeping fascists out

Submitted by AWL on 21 July, 2005 - 8:03

The Annual General Meeting of the rail union RMT, at the end of June, voted to endorse the union’s decision to expel ultra-fascist Patrick Harrington.

Trade union membership should be open to all workers prepared to stand together with their workmates for our common interests. That is why fascists must be kept out of the unions. They are fundamentally hostile to trade unions and to a large section of trade union members (black, Asian, Jewish, gay...)

The TUC in 2002 voted to back any union expelling fascists. In October 2004 the train drivers’ union ASLEF was fined £5000 in the third tribunal hearing over its decision to expel BNP member Jay Lee (Lee won the first hearing, ASLEF the second, and Lee the third).

Since then, the Employment Rights Act 2004, coming into effect in December 2004, has changed the law to make it easier to expel fascists.

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 26/01/2006 - 17:59

Your rightly state that Pat Harrington was expelled from the RMT but the leadership deny it was on political grounds. They advanced a pretextual charge so his politics were never seriously considered or challenged. One result of his expulsion is that he has helped to form a new Union called 'Solidarity' with the likes of Jay Lee and others expelled from mainstream unions.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 30/01/2006 - 21:44

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I'm a little worried by the formation of Solidarity. Previously the Fascists had no real power in any workplace. Their influence within established Trade Unions was contained and minimal. Now they have reacted to being kicked out of ASLEF, FBU, UNISON etc. by forming their own structure. They could leave unidentified sleepers in the Unions and play an outside game as well. It will be a challenge for us all if this Union gets off the ground.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 31/01/2006 - 15:48

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kicking out members because of their political beliefs smacks of Stalinism. By doing so you incense and anger those who believe in free speech and free political thought. I am no fascist but would support any new union which fights against such political discrimination.

As a teacher I am disgusted at the way our unions have allowed the breakdown of demarcation, now all and sundry unqualified plebs can teach in schools. What good are unions to teachers? They only seem to provide legal representation if accusations are made, and judging from the TES forum, even then the unions are right up the arses of the education authorities and head teachers.

Kind regards from a soon to be member of Solidarity.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 01/02/2006 - 16:10

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

There was a law against political discrimination but the Unions persuaded New Labour to get rid of it so they could kick out BNP members. I don't really have a problem with this as you could argue that freedom of association means that associations should be able to choose who they have as members (although this is sometimes limited like by the Race Relations Act). It is a bit rich to complain that the fash have formed their own union if we are busy kicking them out of the other ones though!

I think we should wait and see what the new Union does before we wade in feet first. If we say that they are scabs and then they support strikes or take a militant line we will look foolish and lose credibility with the workers. Harrington is weird politically (he even quotes Marx for his own purpose) so nothing is impossible!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 09/02/2006 - 20:34

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

The Voice has published an interesting article on the Solidarity Union.

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