Union elections

Why we should support Sharon Graham for Unite general secretary

For debate and discussion about the election, see here. The election for the General Secretary of Unite presents an opportunity to elect a candidate with a genuinely radical vision of change — with shop stewards at the centre of it — and a track record of successfully confronting employers with bold tactics and detailed strategy. It is also an opportunity to elect a woman as leader of Unite for the first time. These are powerful reasons to back Sharon Graham. Shop stewards and the workplace Central to Graham’s pitch is the criticism that Unite has drifted too far from its core purpose as a...

NEU: a setback and advances

The National Education Union (NEU) Executive elections closed on 29 April. Disappointingly, Workers’ Liberty supporter and victimised rep Tracy McGuire lost the national support staff seat, after a vicious campaign by the misnamed “NEU Left”, who have been as determined to remove her from her Executive role as her employer was to sack her. This deprives the executive of a tenacious fighter for support staff. Tracy has fought to ensure the union fully represents support staff and develops into an industrial union. That is why the “NEU Left” fought so hard to remove her. However disgusting her...

Why is the Morning Star so quiet about the Unite election?

The race is on to replace Len McCluskey as general secretary of the Unite union. This is the second most powerful position within the British labour movement, after leader of the Labour Party, and the outcome will have massive repercussions not just for the Unite, but for the movement as a whole and the Labour Party. The four declared candidates, Steve Turner, Howard Beckett, Sharon Graham and Gerard Coyne, will be seeking sufficient branch nominations between now and 7 June. The election runs from 5 July to 23 August. You would expect the Morning Star — a publication largely aimed at, and...

Vote for "real change" in Unison

The ballot to elect the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the public services union Unison opens on 4 May 2021. The NEC is made up of representatives elected from Unison’s regions and service groups, plus seats for four Black members, two young members and two disabled members. After left candidate Paul Holmes (above) delivered a strong result in the general secretary election, the left in the union have the potential to make big gains in the NEC election. Unfortunately some of this may be squandered by the inability of much of the Unison left to cooperate. The previous electoral alliance...

DVLA strikes again 4-8 May (John Moloney's column)

Workers at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) complex in Swansea will strike again from 4-8 May. We’re continuing to fight there over the fact our members are being compelled to come into the workplace, in a way we believe is unsafe. The employer has made some concessions in negotiations, but these relate mainly to changes in the medium-term future, around greater provision for homeworking. We need action right now — centrally for all on-site working, except for emergency and absolutely essential work, to be suspended. We’re also demanding agreements that will give the union direct...

Unite election: no good options

For debate and discussion about the election, see here. Members of Unite, one of Britain’s largest trade unions, will elect a new general secretary. Len McCluskey, who has been in office since 2010, has announced his retirement. The branch nomination period will run from 6 May to 7 June, with members voting by postal ballot from 5 July to 23 August, and the result announced on 26 August. There are four declared candidates so far — Howard Beckett, Steve Turner, Sharon Graham, and Gerard Coyne. All four are current or former unelected officials of the union. Constitutional arrangements which...

PCS: Vote Independent Left

Elections for the National Executive and other posts in the PCS civil service workers’ union this year run from 22 April to 12 May. The Independent Left grouping in the union, which in 2019 got John Moloney elected assistant general secretary, is running Bev Laidlaw for union president, and a number of candidates for the National Executive and other national positions. It is running a slate in the Department of Work and Pensions group elections, and backing the PCS Rank and File slate in the Revenue and Customs (HMRC) group. The Independent Left platform includes: “a real living wage as a...

GMB: mudslinging at the top

Allegation and counter-allegation about GMB full-timers have been flying thick and fast. According to an article in Jewish News an (unnamed) GMB full-timer, speaking at a GMB Christmas party in 2019, had said that claims of antisemitism in the Labour Party were a smear spread by “rich Jewish bastards”. Although the matter had been investigated and the full-timer, now retired, had been cleared, the article continued, the current GMB Acting General Secretary Warren Kenny was so concerned about the way the investigation had been conducted that he had brought in ACAS to review the case. Paul...

What's "left" in the NEU?

The NEU [National Education Union] Left was launched as “a membership organisation” on Saturday 13 March. It was “launched” as a brand over two years ago, at the NEU conference.

Over those two years, it has existed as a nebulous bureaucratic lash up between the Socialist Teachers Alliance (STA)...

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