The conference of the health group in the Unison union in Harrogate this week showed both the potential for a fightback and a lack of leadership from the top.
Strong motions against PFI were passed overwhelmingly. But there was very little sense of any action to deliver change – with motions calling for action over PFI being ruled out of order.
However, important ballots are taking place among ambulance workers. In Yorkshire and Humberside workers voted 95 percent for action on a 80 percent turnout in a consultative ballot. Another is currently taking place in the north west of England.
Motions against the BNP were passed overwhelmingly, with delegates keenly aware of the fascist threat.
Speakers from the Visteon and Glasgow school occupations addressed an enthusiastic fringe meeting, which was the highlight of the conference for many delegates.
Another packed fringe meeting heard Yunus Bakhsh speak alongside others being witch-hunted in the union.
His campaign continues to be a focal point for many in Unison who are outraged by the actions of the employers and the union leaders.
The election for the Unison national executive is taking place now. For details go to » unisonleft.wordpress.com
Reballots have opened the way to bigger struggle