Monday, April 30, 2007

Does silence on the Labour leadership serve UNISON members?

I was pleased to see John McDonnell in today’s Guardian setting out the case for a contest for Leader of the Labour Party. As readers of this blog will have picked up – I am personally a convinced supporter of his leadership campaign. John McDonnell seems to me to be an effective campaigner for policies which most trade unionists would support (I have nothing to say about the other supposed left-wing contender, Michael Meacher).

John’s campaign has attracted strong support from rank and file trade unionists, including at last year’s TUC. John is also the only candidate already to have been nominated by a trade union affiliate – ASLEF.

It is however, disappointing to report that my own trade union UNISON has consistently sought to stay out of the debate around the leadership. On the one hand, the recent reminder to members of the UNISON group of MPs that the Union has not taken any official position is both true and consistent.

On the other hand, now that we have left it too late to make a difference to the crucial question of whether there is a contest, the impact of our inaction can only be to help the frontrunner, Gordon Brown – who is currently behind pay offers below the rate of inflation to most UNISON members.

Is this really what our members want?

1 comment:

A GMB Lefty said...

For some reason this news doesn't fill me with a lot of confidence: http://www.gmb.org.uk/Templates/PressItems.asp?NodeID=95414