By Jim Denham
Tony Woodley is one of four candidates standing to replace Bill Morris as General Secretary of the TGWU.
Although the political differences between the candidates are not immediately obvious from their election material, their records within the union point to important differences. Tony Woodley is backed by the union's Broad Left and has a record of rank and file activism and opposition to 'business unionism'. His slogan is "If we fight we may not always win, but if we don't fight we will surely lose".
Woodley's campaign team has put out the following statement to shop stewards:
"Over the next few months we all have the chance to decide the future direction of our great union and the kind of leader we want, with the election of a new general secretary.
Shop stewards want a union that provides more access to members by opening new offices, not closing them. We want offices to provide facilities and a warm welcome to our members.
Shop stewards want a union that understands and values the work of shop stewards. We want a union that provides support for the difficult and demanding role filled by the workplace shop steward.
Shop stewards want a union that will provide a well financed, professionally staffed helpline, to ensure that stewards, members and their families always have someone to turn to for advice.
Shop stewards want a union that provides fully trained, professional trade union officials to support them and defend members in the workplace.
Shop stewards want a union that demands respect for members, from employers and from Government. We want a union with the power and determination to demand and negotiate the best possible deals for our members.
Shop stewards want a union that will campaign for workers' rights, making sure we are listened to by Government and by the Labour Party. We want a union that is independent and puts members first."