Video: Serwotka makes one of the great political speeches – and historic announcement

PCS union general secretary and TUC president announces first-in-a-century decision at Labour conference

Union leader Mark Serwotka made a speech to Labour’s conference in Brighton this morning that Labour insiders are already ranking among the great political speeches. Serwotka ranged over the unity of unions behind Corbyn on Brexit and to fight austerity, the plight of millions of working – and not-working – people and the dramatic change in the character and behaviour of the Labour front bench under Corbyn’s leadership.

But he also made a historic announcement. Serwotka’s union, PCS, is not among the unions affiliated to the Labour Party – as Serwotka explained, its predecessor was banned from doing so by law after the General Strike almost a century ago.

But Serwotka announced that for the first time ever, PCS has decided that it will formally campaign for a Corbyn-led Labour government in the coming general election – and he explained why in passionate terms that brought his audience to its feet:


Unions are uniting behind Jeremy Corbyn to an even greater degree – because it’s never been more obvious who represents hope for the many, nor more urgent to bring down the Tories.

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  1. If the Labour Left were democratic socialist rather than being merely left-liberal then we would be furious with the trade unions. The unions voted solidly against reinstating the commitment to common ownership into the Party aims embodied in Clause IV. They are responsible for Conference re-endorsing the Clause IV text introduced by Tony Blair.

    It speaks volumes that the unions have kept the Blair party aims in existence at the same time as supporting EU membership. Both represent different aspects of keeping our socially unjust capitalist system on the most secure footing possible.

    How did each NEC member vote on whether to support the reintroduction of the public ownership commitment? Did the NEC Left support change? Perhaps Skwarkie could enlighten us. Yeah right.

  2. ” democratic socialist ” Trans . : agreeing with me.

    The voice that sank many an electoral success.

  3. IT looks like the unions want a democratic socialist Labour party as much as the membership.. Now that must be good news.And who in our party could seriously disagree with that.if we want a Jeremy Corbyn led Labour government?

  4. serwotka going on about de piffle pretending to be on the side of the working man & woman. serwotka’s not even on the side of the non-working man and woman, as anyone unemployed or disabled who’s had their claim stopped for the ost ridiculous of reasons will testify.

    I note the labour party hasn’t had pcs affiliation for almost a century. It’s certainly shown under serwotka’s tenure.

    1. Toffee…fingers crossed and hope we can convince the public that the
      Labour party in government will govern for everyone and not just for the better off or the finance Industry.A civilised social security system should be what it was intended for,and mean what it says.I personally think the word benefits is insulting and we should always use the word social security..Trashing of the public sector services will hopfuly bring the torys down but to do that we have to use the support of the unions in highlighting the vandalism and carpetbagging of our assets.The bulk of the country are more insecure and vulnerable than they have ever been.We can but try to convince them to vote Labour to protect themselves and their families…..Regards comrade

  5. This is one of those times when I realise other commenters on here have a whole bungle of different baggage and background.

    I’m a mere tabular rasta in comparison…. BUT…. I thought it was a good speech stirring stuff, and I thank Mr Serwotka for it. Sorry if he has strangled kittens in the past or something

    1. I think I’d consider the deaths of many thousands, directly of a result of the complicity of pcs members in unflinchingly meting out benefit sanctions, ever so slightly more concerning than strangling the odd kitten.

      Wouldn’t you, Bay?

      Now he thinks that the pcs’ non-affiliation with the party has been THE reason the toerags have had 10years unchecked austerity. Wilful deceit.

      Far from being on the frontline of resisting austerity, serwotka’s JCP staff have been on the frontline of IMPOSING it.

      He even goes on about how great his pickets have been. I wonder if he’s referring to the one where they ‘considered tearing up their £25 m&s vouchers’ (bribes for sending people into abject penury at the toerag’s behest) to show IDS that the carrot they were getting was ‘too small’?

      (Link provided later today, if required?)

      And serwotka speaks as though his backing will see him as kingmaker?

      Egomaniacal idiot. Just GTF serwotka. You’re not kidding me. Don’t allow him to kid you that this is some sort of altruism on his/pcs’ part. It isn’t.

      The pcs consist of JCP capos, bailiffs, debt collectors, traffic wardens etc; altruism isnt in their remit.

  6. You fail to grasp the nettle, Bay. Even towards the end of his speech, serwotka goes on about his ‘hard done by’ members getting what they wanted from striking – but ONLY with labour backing.

    (I’ll provide a link about how ‘great’ their picket lines have been previously, later today. It says everything about the self-centred mindset of a union that’s made up of job sectors that thrive on people’s misery & imposed debt.)

    Ive NEVER ONCE heard a solidarity call from him for the poor sods what’ve had their claim stopped and been thrown into abject penury – all because the toerags demanded it. Oh no, it’s always about how hard done by his members are and bollocks to everyone else. That link I provided is just one of a plethora of instances.

    Now he speaks like he’ll be some sort of kingmaker, as if the pcs’ non-affiliation with the party has been THE reason the toerags have imposed ten years of austerity and draconian measures which the pcs have unflinchingly meted out to the most vulnerable in society.

    I have zero respect OR trust for serwotka or any of his union colleagues. He is NO ‘comrade’ to the disabled & unemployed or their families.

  7. ACH! It appears as though the comment(s) I wrote earlier are now appearing when they didn’t before. Maybe because I’m on my phone? Anyway if anymore show up they are on the same lines but because they didn’t appear after sending I rewrote them with some small diffrenced.. but no doubt you’ll get the gist.

    Right, back to bo-bo’s. G’night all.

  8. Anyway, here’s the link I said I’d provide:

    ”Mr Lloyd said Jobcentre workers had threatened to tear up £25 Marks and Spencer vouchers received for getting claimants off benefits as part of a DWP ‘carrot and stick’ approach.

    He said: “The carrot is a small one and a number of PCS members from Smethwick were considering tearing up their vouchers in front of IDS to show their feelings over the matter.”

    The ‘Mr Lloyd’ being quoted is andrew lloyd, W.Mids regional pcs secretary.

    Yes, comrades – The pcs think £25 ‘carrot’ they receive(d)** for stopping someone’s claim – mostly for the most spurious of reasons but also because jcp workers are vindictive snide bastards on the whole (Those that aren’t don’t do anything about those that are, just like the plod) is ‘too small’.

    They ‘considered’ and ‘threatened’ to tear up their £25 m&s vouchers – but didn’t actually do so. That’s the resolve of them. A mere threat to carry out a mere gesture. Pathetic. It’s there in black & white. They want(ed) more money for putting people into poverty… Shame on them.

    **They probably get more now, but there was anecdotal evidence of the bribe being as paltry as a f***ing easter egg.

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