I am a strong supporter of good terms and conditions in the workplace. It makes good sense all round to have a motivated workforce that performs well. Trade Unions can play a positive role in this, but unfortunately there are times when some Trade Unions are used as political vehicles, rather than genuinely putting the interests of their members and the wider workforce first.
With Labour having lurched to the far left since Jeremy Corbyn became leader in 2015, we are seeing a repeat of the early 1980s where industrial action is being used to oppose the Conservative government, because Labour’s parliamentary party has become hopelessly divided and ineffective.
We are seeing this locally with the RMT, who have caused misery to rail commuters in Crawley in a dispute that appears to be more about maintaining disproportionate union power and not modernising working practices, than about the quality of service being provided to rail passengers. Crawley’s rail passengers shouldn’t forget that with the RMT having donated money to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign, that every Labour councillor at Crawley Borough Council has refused to condemn this strike action.
This was no surprise to me as regardless of how badly Crawley residents are affected, I have never recalled any occasion where Labour in Crawley has ever condemned any industrial action. I can’t be alone in thinking how absurd it is that not once could there ever possibly be any industrial action or strike that isn’t justified? This absurdity is Labour’s position.
At the recent annual budget meeting at Crawley Borough Council, some of your council tax increase went on the only item of increased spending, which was an extra £10,000 to increase the hours of the Council-Tax-funded Trade Union Rep at Crawley Town Hall. We Conservatives moved an amendment to stop this increase (wrongly reported last week as us seeking a reduction) and to put this extra money towards re-introducing free winter admission to Tilgate Nature Centre which Labour had taken away this year. Sadly we lost, as Labour’s Council majority meant that this further ‘Corbynisation’ of Crawley Town Hall went ahead.