Friday, July 10, 2015
UNISON must support Jeremy Corbyn, the UNISON candidate for Labour Leader
Below is a message which I have sent to relevant members of my UNISON branch, in line with the agreed policy of the branch. I would urge every UNISON activist to encourage their branch to send a similar message (if your branch has taken a similar decision). As UNITE’s decision to nominate Jeremy Corbyn clearly shows, this is a time at which we must make use of the relationship between the trade unions and the Labour Party if it is to have any meaning.
Jeremy Corbyn stands, in the most obvious way, for everything which UNISON stands for. Whether UNISON nationally supports Jeremy (who has supported UNISON throughout our existence) will be decided by the National Labour Link Committee on 29 July. Were the Committee to decide to nominate any other candidate that would be tantamount to declaring in favour of disaffiliation. Were the Committee to decide not to make a nomination that would be tantamount to declaring their own complete irrelevance.
Maximising the vote for Jeremy Corbyn maximises the influence of UNISON policy. Every UNISON member should do all we can to maximise this vote. Here, then is the message to APF members which I have sent (having sent a similar message to GPF members encouraging them to switch);
As a UNISON member you can have a say in the election for the leadership of the Labour Party.
Your trade union branch, Lambeth UNISON, supports the candidacy of UNISON member, and London MP, Jeremy Corbyn. Jeremy stands for opposition to austerity and supports the policies which UNISON supports – in favour of a fairer society with well funded decent public services provided by workers who are well paid and treated fairly. You can read more about Jeremy’s campaign at http://www.jeremyforlabour.com/.
It is important for us as public service workers that Jeremy’s clear cut opposition to the economic policies which threaten our job security and have undermined our living standards receives as much support as possible. It is in your interests as a UNISON member to support Jeremy Corbyn in this election. (There are three other candidates and you can read about them at http://www.labour.org.uk/leadership).
You can watch the UNISON hustings at which all the four Labour leadership contenders spoke online at http://www.unison.org.uk/news/labour-contenders-make-their-pitch-to-unison-members.
As a contributor to UNISON’s Affiliated Political Fund you can then obtain your right to vote in the Labour leadership election by registering online (free of charge) at http://support.labour.org.uk/ (check the box for “yes” that you are a member of an affiliated organisation and then tick the box for UNISON). The last date to register to vote is noon on Wednesday 12 August. Ballot papers will be despatched from Friday 14 August and the ballot will close at noon on Thursday 10 September.
I hope that you will consider registering to vote in the Labour leadership election in order to support Jeremy Corbyn.