“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.”