1980s >> 1980 >> no-909-may-1980

Party News: Socialism and Trade Unions

Many people think the Trade Unions run the country. Others believe they are at the root of all social problems. Trade Unions are certainly front page news, and the Tory Government has promised to “put them in their place”.


The Socialist Party of Great Britain has just published a new pamphlet giving our analysis of Trade Unions, their uses and limitations and the urgent need for workers to consider the socialist alternative.
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“The Socialist Party of Great Britain has a distinctive view of the problems facing the Unions. It is that, necessary as they are to prevent employers depressing wages, the Unions are strictly limited in what they can achieve for their members within the capitalist system of society out of which Unions arise and within which they operate . . .”


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“The trade union weapon for bringing pressure to bear on the employer is the strike, by means of which production can be halted. It is however effective only when market conditions are such that the employer can sell at a profit all that is produced.”


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“Trade Unions, fighting the same old battles over and over again, offer no way out of the dead-end of capitalism. There is nothing the Unions can do which wall substantially alter the way capitalism works. However, there is a solution, the one for which the Socialist Party of Great Britain is organised. It is the replacement of capitalism by socialism — which, it must be emphasised, has nothing to do with nationalisation or with having capitalism run by a Labour Government.”