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Proletarian issue 39 (December 2010)
Letter: Why I’ve left Bectu to join the NUJ after seven years as a rep
Dear membership secretary

I am leaving the union following the actions of the leadership during the most recent pensions negotiations.

I have tried for years to work within Bectu for change, but it is clear to me that the union is not fit for purpose as a fighting organisation. Instead, along with other Labour-affiliated unions, it has become part of the web of organisations and institutions that deflect and divert workers’ anger and activity down harmless (to the interests of the ruling class) channels, effectively helping to maintain the status quo and to resign ordinary people to their ‘inevitable’ fate.

No doubt by manipulating, bullying and hectoring the Bectu membership into accepting the latest settlement on pensions, which itself is clearly not worth the paper it’s written on, Gerry Morrissey has earned himself many plaudits among BBC management, in the Labour party upper echelons and in the corporate world generally. He and the rest of the Bectu leadership have covered themselves only in shame as far as the working class is concerned.

The founding principles of trade unionism were strength in unity and an understanding of the irreconcilable interests of workers and capitalists. Therefore, unions were formed to use the combined strength of working people to fight for better conditions and pay under conditions of capitalist exploitation.

These are simple and limited aims. Yet under the watch of such ‘leaders’ as yours, unity is replaced by fragmentation and division, while protecting workers’ interests and fighting for their rights against the onslaught of capital is replaced by class collaboration, pacification and resignation.

It is a shame for such people to bear the name of trade unionists.

JB, London
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