Sunday, 15 May 2011

UNITE members vote Left to back Len McCluskey

With nearly all seats now declared, UNITE’s Executive Council elections have delivered a thumping majority for United Left, which strongly backed Len McCluskey for General Secretary in the election last year. United Left has won 43 seats on UNITE’s new 65-seat Executive, ensuring Len McCluskey will have strong support for a left vision for UNITE, including opposition to all the ConDem Government’s spending cuts, vigorous support for its members who wish to take strike action and a much more proactive strategy to win back the Labour Party to trade union values.

“This is an excellent result for the Left in UNITE” said Martin Mayer Chair of United Left. “United Left has won two thirds of the seats on UNITE’s new Executive Council – and most of the others we believe will be supportive of Len McCluskey and our United Left agenda. This means UNITE can now go forward with a clear left vision for a strong, united fighting back Union – and put behind it the three years of division and internal struggle which characterised the Union under the dual leadership of former AMICUS and TGWU General Secretaries”. 

After at times quite bitter internal disagreements between former AMICUS’ leadership team under Derek Simpson and former TGWU’s leadership under Tony Woodley, UNITE’s 1.3 million members have decidedly rejected the more moderate, Labour-loyalist and pro-business approach of the former AMICUS’ leadership, which often stood opposed to moves for strong lay member democracy in the new Union. “Both the General Secretary election and the recent Executive Council elections gave UNITE’s membership a choice of which direction they wished their Union to follow,” said Martin Mayer. “The membership have chosen United Left’s vision of a fighting back union based on strong lay membership democracy and control – a Union which stands up for its members and backs them if they want to take on their employer – a Union which will fight the ConDem spending cuts including through co-ordinated strike action – and a Union which will punch a much stronger voice in the Labour Party and elsewhere for policies which benefit working people and their families.”


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