Trade Unions

Questions Hugh Lanning, Deputy General Secretary of PCS must answer!

This is a guest post by Howard Fuller, Branch Secretary, PCS South West Thames (pc)

A report has appeared on the TULIP (Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine) website which reports on his attendance at a Conference in the USA of the Al-Awada organisation. It is alleged that this organisation has terrorist links. You can find the article via the link below:

First off Hugh Lanning needs to confirm he is attending & if he is he should publicly disclose the following:

  • In what capacity is he attending? The Al-Awada statement refers to the fact the is Deputy General Secretary of PCS. Are you speaking in that capacity. If so has the NEC authorised this? Also on what grounds would we need to send someone to this groups conference? Al-Awada is not a Trade Union nor is PCS affiliated to it.
  • Has the National Executive authorised this trip? If so on what grounds? Is PCS paying for this trip? Are you going whilst on paid union time?
  • Finally given the apparently dodgy nature of Al-Awada and its connections is it appropriate that PCS should be associated in shape or form with this group? I think not and await Mr Lannings answer.

This incident shows the need for more openness on the part of the PCS and its leadership. All visits abroad and their reasons for being undertaken including who our representatives are meeting should be published in the public domain so we can see not only what our leaders are up to but how much they are spending on such trips.

We shouldn’t have to find out from other sources what PCS officials are up to abroad. Perhaps the General Secretary would care to disclose all overseas visits authorised and paid for by the PCS out of our subscriptions. We have a right to know what is being done in our name.

Graham Taylor, who served on the PCS NEC for several years, adds the following in the comments:

A few years ago I left PCS (The Public and Commercial Services Union) over its one-sided support of Hamas in the Israel Palestine conflict.

I wasn’t just an ‘ordinary’ member, I’d been an activist for twenty years – including several years on its ruling body (the National executive Committee).

Does the PCS leadership really believe that any of it’s ordinary membership (whether they work in Whitehall or Wrexham tax office) beleive that their subs should be frittererd away on sending Hugh on a jolly with a bunch of terrorists? We all know that the handful of nutters in extremist fringe groups that end up sitting on all the committees do; but people in my office (in Whitehall) or those in places I regularly visit (like Wrexham) certainly do not.

I know, I should get involved and try and change the leadership; but I tried that for twenty years and I’ve given up.

Congratulations to Howie for his courage and determination in highlighting this; and I wish him and his colleagues all the very best.

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