The “Unison Unleashed” rank-and-file caucus in the Sheffield local government branch of the public sector union Unison has narrowly missed out on unseating the existing bureaucratic leadership of the branch in the branch’s first election in two years.
The existing branch chair, John Mordecai, was re-elected, but by only 410 votes to Unleashed’s 378 for that position. Similarly, for the Branch Communications Officer position there were just 100 votes in it, though Unleashed ran a brand new activist.
The branch has been run by Unison’s regional office due to the local bureaucracy’s incompetence. It has not held an AGM, or elections, since 2010. Unison Unleashed was formed to fight for greater democracy and rank-and-file control in the branch, as well as to provide a strategy for fight savage local government cuts (which the existing branch leadership had so spectacularly failed to do, and indeed had blocked).
The members clearly responded to this.
Unleashed will continue to campaign, and this positive result will inevitably unsettle the right-wing leadership and provide more avenues for movement.