It seems that the prospect of a merger between Unite, the UK's largest trade union and PCS, the main civil service union is no longer on the cards for the time being. That is not to say it isn't going to happen but not for the immediate future.
The reason behind this appears to be the actions of Mark Serwotka (PCS General Secretary) and the Socialist Party Grandees who saw McCluskeys early General Secretary campaign as some kind of "betrayal" as his actions were prompted by a desire to assist the Labour Party.
Given the current row erupting in the Labour Party about the growing influence of trade unions in selection Prospective Parliamentary Candidates it's hardly surprising McCluskey would be inclined more towards the Labour Party, of which Unite is a major financial backer, rather than the tiny and frankly irrelevant Trade Union & Socialist Coalition (TUSC) backed by the PCS leaders.
They laughingly appear to be condemning him for putting "party" interests before the merger! Pots & kettles coming from the sectarians of the Socialist Party methinks.
It hasn't helped matters by a small corner of PCS HQ being allegedly used to back McCluskey's trotskyist rival Jerry Hicks. This something I'm told is alleged to have happened during the Unison GS election. One wonders what really goes on in the hallowed corridors of Falcon Road these days. Nothing surprises me anymore.
Hugh Lanning (until recently Deputy General Secretary) got wind of this apparently and according to some sources was "furious" to say the least as it was he who it turns out was the main proponent of the merger having more than a few mates in Unite I'm told. In fact it is probably no exaggeration to say that there would have been no talk of a merger if it wasn't for Lanning.
Hugh Lanning was also critical of the industrial strategy being pursued by the comrades of the Socialist Party and others, becoming quite open in his criticisms by all accounts. The interference in the Unite GS election appears to have been the last straw for Lanning hence his early retirement. So now we know.
The long and short of the story appears to be that PCS would have to go begging to Unite if they want a merger now. If Len McCluskey is not impressed with the PCS leadership it is hardly surprising given all the apparent shenanigans of Serwotka and his chums.
I've always wondered why PCS never manages to keep an ally, this sad little tale shows why. Then there's the National Union of Teachers. Similar goings on there to I'm told.
PCS is clearly misled at every level. Time for change.
See also Sarah AB at: http://hurryupharry.org/2013/04/25/mccluskeys-divisive-comments-on-labour/