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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 November 2019

PCS union general secretary election: Enthusiastic support for Marion Lloyd

BEIS strikers joined on the picket line by socialist PCS general secretary election candidate Marion Lloyd (right), photo Paula Mitchell, photo Paula Mitchell

BEIS strikers joined on the picket line by socialist PCS general secretary election candidate Marion Lloyd (right), photo Paula Mitchell, photo Paula Mitchell   (Click to enlarge)

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union general secretary ballot has started and it closes on 12 December.

Socialist Party member Marion Lloyd is one of three candidates. Her 39 Branch nominations outnumber Bev Laidlaw's 16 and puts Marion close to the 62 nominations for incumbent Mark Serwotka. In other words, she can win this election. Activists should unite behind her and make this happen.

Early signs are hugely encouraging. In every town and city a large number of offices have already been leafleted. More of this activity is planned for the days and weeks ahead.

Those leafleting report an enthusiastic and positive membership response to Marion's decision to challenge Serwotka. Her programme has struck a chord among members looking for a Union leadership which will fight for them on the issues of pay, jobs and equality.

Marion told the Socialist "I've been literally overwhelmed by the demand for my election material and delighted by the response to it. I sensed all along the mood among our members is for change and for a fresh approach. I have become more and more convinced of this as the election has got underway."

Marion's pledge to make no material gain by staying on her current civil servant's wage is well received. As is her commitment to publishing details of her union payback arrangements. Serwotka makes no payback to the union despite his original undertaking to do so. His election material makes no mention of this.

Marion's criticisms of Serwotka's pay strategy which led to two failed pay strike ballots is widely shared. The different approach - a disaggregated ballot - which Marion argued for has been used by the University and College Union in their recent successful strike ballot (see page 11). Had PCS adopted this approach, 21 PCS groups would now have a legal strike mandate.

Marion's commitment to a Union accountable to its members and controlled by its lay structures has gone down well. As president of the PCS's Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy government department Group, Marion fought against Serwotka's decision to give control of resources to non-elected union officials.

The election of union full-time officers is a democratic demand that Marion supports. In the past, so did Serwotka but there is no mention of this by him now.

Marion supports the election of a Corbyn-led government on an anti-austerity programme, but she makes it clear that this doesn't mean we should be uncritical cheerleaders for Labour. And unlike the other candidates she is opposed to Labour Party affiliation.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 13 November 2019:


What we think

Attacks show elite fear a Corbyn election win


News

Strike, protest, vote - Kick the Tories out

Labour MP targeted by right wing stands as independent

NHS in critical condition

Green Party offers no alternative for young people and climate change chaos


International socialist news and analysis

Bolivia: Right-wing coup ousts Morales

Kshama Sawant reelected in Seattle


Workplace news

'McStrikers' demand 15 an hour

UCU strikes: Union means business in fight against employers

Postal union determined to resist bosses' attacks

PCS union general secretary election: Enthusiastic support for Marion Lloyd

Frimley NHS Trust strikes: Health workers walkout against privatisation

Bradford libraries and museums: Unite members escalate action against cuts

RMT union members at SWR to walk out in December

Transport for London - Justice for cleaners!


Education

Save education - Kick out the Tories


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Leicester campaigns to save our NHS

Fighting for free education, jobs, homes, and a future worth living

Socialism 2019 rally: "Socialist change needed to end climate change"

Trade union conference to force secret police disclosure

Barking: protest brings pledge to remove dangerous decking

Help socialist ideas spread this election: donate!

We saved Chatsworth Ward - two years on

I'm 90 and still a socialist


Readers' opinion

Readers' opinion: Twitter's banning of political ads threatens workers' voice

Theatre: On Bear Ridge - an examination of loss, set in a post-apocalyptic world

Socialism 2019 - what you thought


 

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