Britain: Victory for left in union elections

Seven Socialist Party members have been elected to the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS).

Socialist Party member Janice Godrich retained her presidency with an increased majority, gaining 23,081 postal votes to the right wing’s 15,199

The Socialist Party was part of a "pro democracy" left slate that won thirty-four seats to the right wings nine in the elections. The right previously held twenty-eight of the forty three seats on the NEC.

This is a massive victory against one of the most right wing leaderships in the British trade union movement.

The Socialist Party and its predecessor, the Militant, have been the driving force of the left in the union for decades. The PCS, with 300,000 members, is the sixth biggest union in Britain and organises mainly central government employees.

The right wing in the union have long been linked to the British state machine, including the secret services, as well as well documented evidence of their link to the CIA through the "trade union committee for trans-Atlantic understanding".

Right coup failed

The right had attempted to organise a coup against the left leadership last year when they refused to accept the election by the membership of the newly elected socialist general secretary, along with curbing the powers of the president. The courts were forced to overturn this coup and reinstate the general secretary and the powers of the president.

A membership ballot then supported a left initiative and voted to return to annual elections and annual conferences instead of biennial events. That is why the elections took place at this time.

It must the first time that a president of a major union brought forward their own elections by a full 12 months!

This left victory has come at a time when the British trade unions have seen a whole swathe of left leaders being elected. The unions throughout Britain are in the throws of a debate about their links with the Labour Party, which is widely seen as another pro-capitalist party. The Socialist Party is campaigning in the unions to break with the Labour Party (the unions set up the Labour Party one hundred years ago) and build a new trade union-based mass workers’ party. The victory of the left in the PCS will act as a mighty push down this road

Special financial appeal to all readers of

Support building alternative socialist media provides a unique analysis and perspective of world events. also plays a crucial role in building the struggle for socialism across all continents. Capitalism has failed! Assist us to build the fight-back and prepare for the stormy period of class struggles ahead.
Please make a donation to help us reach more readers and to widen our socialist campaigning work across the world.

Donate via Paypal

Liked this article? We need your support to improve our work. Please become a Patron! and support our work
Become a patron at Patreon!

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


July 2003