Trade Union elections and democracy

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Over the last couple of decades a rather undemocratic process has entered the British Trade Union Movement and that is that in elections candidates are on the ballot papers that cannot be voted for (or against).

Those are the so-called “reserved seats” in elections to regional and national bodies of the unions that I speak of here.

Reserved seats are something you may have in a restaurant or a theater or such venues but not on committees and executive bodies of supposedly democratic organizations.

Those candidates, often ethnics, GLBT, or women, or all of the above, are listed as “elected unopposed” without any of the members, aside from may be those at the executive, having had a say in the matter. This is not democracy. It is a farce and tantamount to Stalinism and indeed fascism.

But, time and again, in fact each and every time such ballot papers arrive at member's addresses, this goes on despite the fact that members have raised objections to this practice. This imposing of people on the members is nothing more than fascism, period!

One might have thought that we had gotten rid off any form of Stalinism and fascism in the Labor Movement and the Trade Unions by now but, apparently, this is not the case.

If Labor Unions want to be democratic and all inclusive, and the same goes for political parties also, the practices such as this one and similar ones must be thrown into the trashcan and that now. Otherwise no claim of being democratic can be made and those groups have lost their mandate.

© 2013