A HUGE row has broken out amongst the leadership of the civil servants' PCS union on the eve of its national conference. The PCS is the result of a merger between the executive grades PTC union, and the clerical grades CPSA union.
The leader of the ex-CPSA is joint general secretary Barry Reamsbottom, who boasts of his friendship with Tony Blair. His supporters recently mailed an election leaflet directly to every PCS member. The addresses could only have been taken from official PCS records. This is against union rules.
The leadership of the old PTC are using these issues to move against Reamsbottom. There should be no sympathy for Reamsbottom, who has a terrible record. But those moving against Reamsbottom are not from the left. PCS members should back a full inquiry into the use of the membership lists. But they also need to raise issues like the privatisation of air traffic control and the defence of asylum seekers.