Delegates at the Connect communications union conference in Blackpool last week took a backwards step in support the union executives' proposals for a merger with Prospect and rejecting an offer to merge with the CWU that they had earlier backed. The whole weight of the union machine was used to force this through in the debate.
An opportunity has passed to create one industrial telecoms union which would have been a compelling proposition uniting workers of all grades to organise those unorganized parts of our industry. However this merger still has to go to a membership ballot in the autumn and may yet be overturned.
Activists must also be prepared for a potential merger with Prospect and need to organise with the aim of strengthening those who want to build independent member led activity.
On a more positive note conference took a resolute stance against arguments for “British jobs for British workers” calling for safeguards for IT workers who are “onshored” in Britain and backing strike action in BT Italy. It also reaffirmed its support for Unite Against Fascism and agreed to support calls to mobilise to expose the BNP and drive them back into the gutter.