Unite says workplace members should decide

Submitted by martin on 28 April, 2010 - 11:50 Author: Rhodri Evans

The Unite union, product of the merger between TGWU and Amicus, is pressing towards a rule change which will exclude retired members from voting in elections for the union Executive and for general secretary.

It is a good move. If it were a matter of a handful of retired members still active in the union having a vote, no-one would mind.

But in the last Amicus Executive elections, fully half the votes cast were from retired members. Union elections should decide how the union represents the interests and wishes of the members in the workforce in relation to their employers.

If retired members want to continue active and help with branch administration, that's fine. But they should help, not decide, and certainly not swamp the voice of members still active in the workplaces.

In Amicus, retired members could vote in both general secretary and Executive elections. In TGWU, they could vote for general secretary but not for the Executive.

The agreement for now is that all retired members can vote in the Unite general secretary election this year, and no retired members can vote in the Executive elections at the end of this year.

Ex-Amicus right-wingers are expected to complain.

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