Union elections

Vote Martin Powell-Davies in NEU!

Voting in the election for the first ever elected Deputy General Secretary of the National Education Union (NEU) opens on 4 October, with ballot papers being sent to members’ homes. Voting closes on 29 October. Socialists, rank and file activists, and members should vote for Martin Powell-Davies, the Education Solidarity Network (ESN) candidate. Martin is standing on a 10-point manifesto: 1. Action to protect the health, safety and welfare of staff and our communities from Covid-19 2. End excessive workload, and end the high stakes testing that drives so much of it. 3. A Union that builds...

RMT elections: vote Pottage and Hoyle

Elections for the Assistant General Secretary and National President positions are currently taking place in the National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport workers (RMT). Supporters of Workers’ Liberty active in the union are backing Alan Pottage (AGS) and Sean Hoyle (National President). The past year in RMT has seen outbreaks of conflict within the union over the application of its rule book and how much power should be held by union officers and staff, as against lay bodies like the National Executive Committee. The former General Secretary Mick Cash retired early, following claims...

What the numbers of the Unite election say

The 2021 Unite the Union General Secretary election appears to have continued the pattern of a declining turnout in each General Secretary election since the union’s creation.

Vote left for Unison Labour Link

With the success in June of the “Time For Real Change” left slate in the National Executive Committee (NEC) elections for the public services union Unison, the union’s Labour Link Committee, mandated to guide the union’s activity within the Labour Party, could for the first time be controlled by the left. Unison have election rules which ban slates in elections, but both right and left of the union have one candidate in each contested seat. (Some are uncontested). Voting runs from 7 Sep to 13 Oct. The left candidates are: East Midlands - Anjona Roy Greater London - Ruth Cashman Northern -...

More organising, more democracy, more politics: how to push in Unite

On 25 August Sharon Graham won the Unite general secretary election, becoming the first woman to lead the union. Graham got 46,696 votes, with Steve Turner — the favoured successor of outgoing general secretary Len McCluskey — gaining 41,833. Many feared that two left candidates in a First Past the Post election would allow right winger Gerard Coyne to win; in the event, Coyne came third with 35,334. The turnout was around 10% of Unite’s 1.2 million-strong membership. It was 12% in 2017, 15% in 2013, and 16% in 2010. Workers’ Liberty supporters in Unite called for a critical vote for Sharon...

Unite: Sharon Graham's win

Sharon Graham has won the Unite general secretary election, becoming the first woman to lead the union. Graham won 46,696, with Steve Turner - the favoured successor of outgoing general secretary Len McCluskey - gaining 41,833.

The case for a critical vote for Gary Smith

Dale Street (Solidarity 601) is right to take issue with the entirely uncritical hagiography to newly-elected GMB union general secretary Gary Smith offered by a group of “GMB comrades” in their article of the previous week (Solidarity 600). Reading the comrades’ paean would give readers the impression that Smith was a radical class fighter, if not quite a revolutionary socialist then very near to one, and someone who has dedicated himself to an unambiguous one-man mission to turn the GMB into a militant, class-struggle union. Smith is exactly what Dale Street has, in previous articles...

CWU: no change at the top

As expected the elections for the National Executive Committee (NEC) and Industrial Executives of the Communications Workers’ Union (CWU) have resulted in the maintenance of the status quo. All those seeking re-election won, and the small number of genuine left candidates were soundly defeated. The strength of the HQ bureaucracy is evidenced by the fact that Norman Candy, who was previously PA to General Secretary Dave Ward, got the retired members seat on the NEC unopposed. The only small glimmer of light is that the equality seats brought some new candidates in, but this will be an NEC that...

Understanding what was at stake in the GMB election

This discussion article has been sent to us by a group of GMB activists and officers who have worked with Workers’ Liberty. Dale Street’s article on the GMB General Secretary election (Solidarity 596) is testament to the author’s outstanding talent for missing the wood for the trees. To paraphrase Eric Morecambe: “He has all the right knowledge, but not necessarily in the right order”. To help Solidarity readers make sense of the GMB election we want to take a step back from the matters Dale focuses on and instead look at the big picture. The first point to grasp, is that for anyone in the GMB...

Unite: a critical vote for Sharon Graham

See here for our ideas and demands for transforming Unite the Union. More on the Unite election here. Following discussion and voting in our caucus of members active in Unite and on our elected committees, Workers’ Liberty will support a vote for Sharon Graham in the election for general secretary of the Unite union, against Steve Turner and Gerard Coyne. Our position has developed over a number of months. A consistent thread has been an acknowledgment of the threat posed by right-wing candidate Gerard Coyne, whose model of conservative, officer-led, service-provision unionism would be a...

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