Just been knocked back for another job for another trade union…. I was told it was “close” but it seems I am too political for this kind of job and it wasn’t due to the other candidates having more “experience” etc just that I am too gobby. Not sure whether I should laugh or cry. Too political for a trade union! It seems so. I wouldn’t mind if I talked about the barricades, Leninism and Molotov cocktails. Indeed that would be a tad over the top. But…alas… it seems that they want nice compliant political(ish) people, who happily provide the administration but ask NO questions or think about the world. I saw some of the candidates for the job, they were under 25.
In the past couple of years I have worked on both sides of the union member and worker. And administrators are the interface between member and union. Over the years, I have met some damn good committed ones and some damn bad not committed ones, who can type a letter, write minutes but never actually think too much about union functions etc. social justice or fighting oppression. I have encountered administrators who think there are “too many Eastern Europeans” in this country, don’t know what “LGBT” means, be homophobic and think it’s OK to vote BNP. Yes, I have come across admin staff like that who keep their jobs. Yet when I did argue and speak out I was told to “Shut-up and don’t make a fuss”… Admin staff, in many unions, are just expected to know the functions of a secretarial nature but not to have any political understanding nor is there (in my experience) education on offer.
So, please, understand why I am miffed, pissed off and angry that I am too “political” for an administrative role in a trade union. Instead compliance and keeping ya head down is the order of the day. I am sure employers (that includes TUs) are picking people who are compliant esp. in this economic climate. I would therefore ask any TU member, does it bother you that you are getting apolitical staff who don’t care and don’t know about the fundamental and political issues that impact on trade unionism?
Again, sorry about this rant but I am angry and upset (OK, I admit I cried when they told me after I put phone down) and feel like I am unemployable due to my politics. Compliance is not me nor should it be any politico worth their salt.
I know there are millions of people in this situation but I just feel so powerless, unemployable and let down. Hope that makes sense?