Friday, April 22, 2011

Twenty Years Ago the NEW WORKER

The Trades Union Congress may agree the affiliation of the Electrical and Plumbing Industries Trade Union this week.
The 4,000 strong EPIU was formed when the EEPTU was expelled from the TUC in 1988. The EPIU was given observer status in 1989 but was refused full membership.
The TUC says the EPIU is now self sufficient and no longer dependent on other unions. Holding sections for EPIU members set up by the TGWU, MSF and GNB general unions will be disbanded.
Some members of the general council had hoped a way could be found for the EEPTU to return but that is extremely unlikely.
Leading members of both the AEU engineering union and UCATT building workers union want merger with EEPTU. A rat race could develop to carve it up.

Mikhail Gorbachov has returned empty-handed from Japan to face renewed demands from all quarters for his resignation.
The visit was a failure. Gorbachov had been seeking some £15 billion worth of Japanese aid to stave off the economic collapse of the Soviet Union.
But he was unable to meet the Japanese demand for the return of some or all of the Kurile islands, which Tokyo has set as their price for propping up his ailing regime.
The Japanese government had been expecting a major concession from the Soviet side over the Kurile islands, whose strategic and economic importance and history as part of Russia until 1905 led to their re-incorporation into the Soviet Union after the victory over Japan in 1945.
Many suspect the Soviet leader had privately indicated his willingness to meet Japan’s demands. But the intervention of his rival, Boris Yelstin who controls the Russian Federation made this impossible.