Labour’s position on the Unite/Ineos dispute is now unambiguously to support Unite, which includes the continued threat of a strike. One Scottish shadow cabinet member, Drew Smith MSP, attended a rally on Sunday and has made his supportive position clear on social media. Another shadow cabinet member, Neil Findlay MSP, a Unite member, has also put out an unambiguous statement in favour of Unite and condemning the employer. The Leader in Scotland, Johann Lamont, a Unite member, has condemned only the employer and has cleared her shadow cabinet to take sides. The shadow employment minister, Ian Gray, also a Unite member, has had nothing at all to say all in spite of the actual Employment minister leading the argument for the Scottish government. Labour in Scotland is looking more like the Scottish Unite Party right now.
At present, Ed Miliband seems to have been bounced into an anti-employer position when it’s clear that Unite has handled the dispute appallingly. Unquestioned support for a highly questionable Unite action will have dire consequences. He needs to step in, now and make it clear that Unite needs to start operating like a serious trade union, and Scottish Labour like a serious political outfit. .