Thursday, 11 August 2016

GMB "ballot" backs Smith here hoping it was conducted fairer than a previous ones.

The GMB union has backed Owen Smith to become Labour leader, after balloting its membership for their views.
The GMB represents workers on the Trident nuclear weapons programme.
The union is one of the biggest affiliated to the party, with about 641,000 members - and is the biggest to back Mr Smith to date.
So the media have given a fair bit of space to this.
Around 30,000 GMB members are eligible to vote in the leadership election, but the union wanted to gauge the feeling of all its members.
Mr Smith was endorsed by 60% of the 43,419 union members who voted, while 40% supported incumbent Jeremy Corbyn.
Meanwhile, Mr Corbyn has the backing of the UK's biggest union, Unite, among several others.
Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary said: 
“The Labour Party is at a crossroads. I’m under no illusions that we’re living through dangerous political times – the like of which I haven’t seen during my three decades in our movement. It’s time for us to face up to reality.
“GMB balloted our members because this kind of decision shouldn’t be taken from up on high. We’re a democratic organisation here to serve our members’ interests. I was determined that our members would have their say. And they’ve had it.
“I’ll proudly campaign alongside Owen in the coming weeks and months to deliver on his pledges to end the public sector pay freeze, to support defence workers, to invest in health and industry, and to build an industrial strategy – these are bread and butter issues for the people I represent.
“But we can only tackle them if we’re in government. That’s the end game and I hope whatever the final result, the Labour Party will unite when all this is over. GMB members cannot afford for Labour to be talking to itself in a bubble for the next five years while the Tories run riot through our rights at work, our public services and
our communities.”
 Much will be made of the "democratic" GMB  consulting its members by Balot as opposed to those who are backing Corbyn .

However I hope the GMBU conducted thir consultation a liitle more carefully than they did in 2010 when they they were was accused  of breaching the spirit of the rules surrounding the Labour leadership vote by sending out ballot papers in packages calling for union members to endorse Ed Milliband 

The GMB sent its 700,000 members ballot papers within a larger envelope featuring Ed Miliband's picture. Party rules say you cannot include in the ballot envelope any literature backing a candidate.
 So how did the Union  not break the Rules?

It seems that the
 GMB stuck to the guidance: the ballot envelopes were in smaller envelopes, put together and sealed by the Electoral Reform Society – which oversaw the Labour leadership contest – before being delivered to the mailing depot where the GMB also watched over their loading into a larger envelope that was then sent out to members.
The union, again within the rules, put its endorsement for Ed Milibandon the front of the package sent to all members which included a magazine with his picture on the front and a letter from the leader of the GMB, Paul Kenny, explaining the union's endorsement of the younger Miliband brother.
The GMB vote was crucial in the close vote between Ed Milliband  and his brother David.

The rules have changed since then and there is mow emphasis on one member one vote.

But surely in this modern age if the Unions want to endorse a candidate they  should seek to seek the views of their members?

Or perhaps its time the Unions severs the ties with a party  that has gone against the interest of their members time and time again' Keeping much of the Anti-Union Legislation passed by the Thatcher government.

When the Unions block vote kept the far left in check they were very welcome by the Parliamentary Leadership , However Blair and the Parliament Party around him were delighted to scrap it once they thought they are conquered even the centre left.

Maybe they now want the help Unions like the GMB again,  Alas other Union views may not be so welcome.

1 comment:

  1. Are you aware that the GMB chose to exclude all of their Scottish members from the ballot that supported Owen Smith? This was not an accident, they have said they did it deliberately, because the labour leadership was not an important issue in Scotland?
    FFS. GMB members in Scotland, even if they were independence supporters, would probably have supported Corbyn rather than Smith. What's going on here???.