Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Leaving A Sour Taste In The Mouth

Those of us attending Saturday's march in London against the ConDem cuts (http://marchforthealternative.org.uk/ ) will have our numbers augmented by workers from the Burton's confectionery plant on the Wirral, soon to be closed by its owners. Indeed, the question of who actually owns Burton is raised by John Harris in a piece for the Guardian's Comment is Free site (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/video/2011/mar/22/union-moreton-burtons-factory-jobs-video ).
As Harris discovers, the ability of Unite, the union representing Burton's staff, to establish the identity of the company's owners turns out to be anything but straightforward; global capitalism has, he concludes, made it necessary for a globally-organised & coherent programme on the part of trade unions around the world. Utopian, perhaps, but, as he ruefully remarks, Saturday's "march for the alternative" won't have one unless it recognises the necessity of an international approach. Problem is, such an approach is light years from both the understanding & inclination of the Labour Party & TUC leadership.
Illustrating the need for working people to broaden their case as widely as possible is the case of the state government staff in the US state of Wisconsin (http://huffingtonpost.com/news/wisconsin-protests ).

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