Socialist Worker

PCS members debate merging with Unite

by Annette Mackin at PCS conference in Brighton
Issue No. 2355

Delegates held a lively debate on a potential merger with the Unite union. 

Most saw this as a threat to the independence of the PCS. 

They feared that the union would be “swallowed up” by Unite—and therefore by the Labour Party.

Unite is one of the Labour Party’s biggest backers while the PCS is not affiliated to the party.

Steve Ryan from HM Revenue & Customs in Wales said a merger would see “a sigh of relief from the Con Dems that all our power would be gone”.

Conference narrowly voted to talk to Unite if it approached the PCS about a potential merger.

Andy Reid, a member of the PCS national executive committee, told Socialist Worker that any negotiations would include some non-negotiable terms.

“There is a big awareness of the potential pitfalls of merging with Unite,” he added.

Delegates made clear that they fear a merger won’t deliver the action needed to beat the government. 

But the decisions made at conference lay the basis for stepping up the fight against the Tories.


Delegates voted unanimously to back equal marriage. 

They also unanimously backed a motion showing solidarity with garment workers in Bangladesh. 

Thousands were killed when a factory collapsed in the capital Dhaka last month.


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