Are you in an existing Trade Union?

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Sleeper
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Joined: 19-10-15
Nov 17 2015 22:27
Are you in an existing Trade Union?

I mean a Union that is a member of the TUC in the UK and something similar elsewhere.

bastarx
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Joined: 9-03-06
Nov 18 2015 00:00

Yes and I get very little in return for my ~$500/yr (tax deductible). I think around half goes straight to the Australian Labor Party.

Why do I stay in you ask? Mainly because while not a closed shop nearly all my fellow workers are members and only slimy careerist fuckwits aren't members and I don't want to be lumped with those losers. So $500/yr is worth it to not have my colleagues several of whom are quite militant stop talking to me.

wojtek
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Joined: 8-01-11
Nov 18 2015 04:10

Lol what's a trade union? (Jk but might as well not be)

Sleeper
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Joined: 19-10-15
Nov 21 2015 17:03

Can you opt out of paying a political levy to Australian Labour Party? I don't know much about Australian Labour/Unions TBH.

I'm in a major trade union that had disaffiliated completely from the British Labour Party, although we are still a big player within the Trade Union Congress (TUC)

Well if the rest of your colleagues/comrades decide to strike you don't want to be scabbing do you.

bastarx wrote:
Yes and I get very little in return for my ~$500/yr (tax deductible). I think around half goes straight to the Australian Labor Party.

Why do I stay in you ask? Mainly because while not a closed shop nearly all my fellow workers are members and only slimy careerist fuckwits aren't members and I don't want to be lumped with those losers. So $500/yr is worth it to not have my colleagues several of whom are quite militant stop talking to me.

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jef costello
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Joined: 9-02-06
Nov 21 2015 17:58

I'm probably going to join the union because it might come in handy at some point and here it's tax deductible so it should only cost me about 40 euros net.

Sleeper
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Joined: 19-10-15
Nov 21 2015 18:35

https://www.tuc.org.uk/

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gram negative
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Nov 21 2015 19:51

I'm a shop steward in a business union in the US that I helped to organize and to gain recognition, mainly because I love bureaucracy and the channeling of class struggle into reformist deadends. Things are materially better, though.

bastarx
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Joined: 9-03-06
Nov 21 2015 22:01
Fai1937 wrote:
Can you opt out of paying a political levy to Australian Labour Party? I don't know much about Australian Labour/Unions TBH.

I'm in a major trade union that had disaffiliated completely from the British Labour Party, although we are still a big player within the Trade Union Congress (TUC)

Well if the rest of your colleagues/comrades decide to strike you don't want to be scabbing do you.

No. The union as a whole would have to disaffiliate. I do frequently point out to my colleagues that our union organiser's loyalties are much more to the ALP which runs the government which we are employed by than to us.

freemind
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Joined: 10-10-08
Nov 22 2015 14:45

I was in USDAW but left as they did nothing when management took liberties and so many people take Union roles not out of political belief but because they are lazy.I joined Unite instead but don't expect much.
It was difficult leaving as I believe in principle being in a Union but I'd urge comrades to switch Unions as it forces the Union you leave to answer why you've left to the one you've joined there bye embarrassing them rather than just ignoring your resignation.
Don't forget to stop the political levy the bastards take from your dues to fund the Labour Party.

Sleeper
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Joined: 19-10-15
Nov 22 2015 17:56

It sounds like you need to annoy the ALP so much they want to disaffiiate from you. Then the fun begins - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Union_of_Rail,_Maritime_and_Trans...

See they don't know what to make of us - http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/mick-cash-interview-disill...

bastarx wrote:
Fai1937 wrote:
Can you opt out of paying a political levy to Australian Labour Party? I don't know much about Australian Labour/Unions TBH.

I'm in a major trade union that had disaffiliated completely from the British Labour Party, although we are still a big player within the Trade Union Congress (TUC)

Well if the rest of your colleagues/comrades decide to strike you don't want to be scabbing do you.

No. The union as a whole would have to disaffiliate. I do frequently point out to my colleagues that our union organiser's loyalties are much more to the ALP which runs the government which we are employed by than to us.

bastarx
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Joined: 9-03-06
Nov 23 2015 12:10

I'm in the Transport Workers Union which is one of Australia's bigger unions - about 100 000 members - and it's undemocratic even by union standards. I've got no interest in fighting a probably futile fight for years and years to take over the union and ending up little different from the old bureaucrats in the unlikely event of victory.

Sleeper
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Joined: 19-10-15
Nov 26 2015 18:54

So don't.

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ocelot
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Joined: 15-11-09
Nov 27 2015 01:11

Yes and no. I'm in the Independent Workers Union which is a legally recognised union in Ireland (this is a bit of a specialised topic, basically you need a negotiating licence and it's been effectively impossible to get one of them since, oo... I don't know, the 1970s - we have one from the Cork Operative Butchers Society - long story...) but is outside of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) the Irish equivalent of the TUC*. We're almost entirely volunteer run, so in many ways we're more like the IWW than a proper union, but we have legal status (more or less).

* NB the institution of a single unitary national TU confederation is pretty Commonwealth specific. Even the US have 2 or 3. And in most EU countries there are as many national union federations as political parties/tendencies (hence entirely different union recognition regs and processes)

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Alan52
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Joined: 14-09-15
Dec 23 2015 01:54

I've been an active member member of my union for the last 27 years (and a shop steward in a couple of others in earlier years). And my union, SIPTU, as well as being the biggest in Ireland is also one of the most cautious and conservative.

I'm there because it means we can defend what have a bit better than if we had no union, and we can fight for improvements and then defend those improvements in a way that non-union people can't. It's all about working class people organising against a common enemy on the basis of mutual aid (refusing to cover disputed posts, refusing to pass pickets, supporting our fellow members where they go into struggle...), however weakly it may be expressed in times like these.

As I see it, the main reason most of our unions are so bureaucratic and conservative is because... most of the members are. Can we really expect people who normally vote for pro-capitalist parties and abstain from any other political activity to suddenly become revolutionaries when they get a union card? Until we make the ideas of class struggle, militancy and anarchism the dominant ones in our class - other ideas will be more influential instead. And that's our problem today, the dominance of capitalist values and the accompanying dependency culture that says we should leave the really important decisions to general secretaries, politicians and "impartial experts".

Sleeper
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Joined: 19-10-15
Dec 24 2015 20:10

Yeah yeah I get what you're saying. It really pisses me off cos it seems like we're doing their dirty work for them in many ways. Our unions should be free to organise as we see fit. By that I mean us, the membership.

ocelot wrote:
Yes and no. I'm in the Independent Workers Union which is a legally recognised union in Ireland (this is a bit of a specialised topic, basically you need a negotiating licence and it's been effectively impossible to get one of them since, oo... I don't know, the 1970s - we have one from the Cork Operative Butchers Society - long story...) but is outside of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) the Irish equivalent of the TUC*. We're almost entirely volunteer run, so in many ways we're more like the IWW than a proper union, but we have legal status (more or less).

* NB the institution of a single unitary national TU confederation is pretty Commonwealth specific. Even the US have 2 or 3. And in most EU countries there are as many national union federations as political parties/tendencies (hence entirely different union recognition regs and processes)