Monday, July 06, 2015

Unite backs Corbyn - what about UNISON?

The Executive Council of our sister Union, UNITE, has shown the elementary consistency of backing, in the election for Labour Leader, the candidate who most supports the policies of that trade union - Jeremy Corbyn. (How this impacts upon debates at UNITE's Rules Conference about backing non-Labour candidates in elections I will be interested to learn.)

The challenge before UNISON's National Labour Link Committee on 29 July (the half of whom nominated by the National Executive‎ will not be in place until a decision of the NEC on that same day) is whether they can show the same loyalty to the values and policies of UNISON.

These trade union nominations (like the "supporting nominations" from Constituency Labour Parties) carry no weight as votes, all of which are cast individually between members (including affiliated members opting in), "supporters" and the Party. This individuation of the relationship between affiliated members and the Party is part of the toxic "Collins" legacy of Ed Miliband, bequeathed to us by those who negotiated on behalf of the unions.

Nevertheless, UNITE's formal backing for Jeremy Corbyn's campaign, following on from those of ASLEF, BFAWU and other unions, signifies both the seriousness of the campaign and the recognition (long overdue in some quarters)‎ that our trade unions need to put such political clout as we have behind the policies we agree.

UNISON members can lobby their Regionally elected members of the National Labour Link Committee and - since the NEC has yet to elect it's representatives - should also lobby any and all NEC members to support Jeremy Corbyn. Every vote cast for Jeremy Corbyn, and ever effort to maximise his vote, helps to bring hope back to our movement (when we had almost forgotten it).

Congratulations to the UNITE EC for their backing of Jeremy Corbyn!

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.

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