Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Should Unions have a say in Lab leadership elections?

The Wasting Mule's Martin Shipton  has reported that

A decision by less than a handful of people to commit one of Wales’ biggest unions to supporting Swansea East MP Carolyn Harris in the Welsh Labour deputy leadership contest has led to anger among grassroots members.

I wonder about the term "grassroots members"  basically it could me anyone  and does not as it often implies the majority.

Shipton goes on.
Sources have told us no more than “three or four” members of Unite Wales’ Labour Party Liaison Committee interviewed Ms Harris and her rival Julie Morgan, the AM for Cardiff North, before deciding to nominate the MP.
As things turned out Unite failed to deliver its nomination of Ms Harris by the deadline of midnight on Sunday and it was ruled out of order.
But the union has continued to support Ms Harris’ candidacy on social media, in addition to which Shadow Treasury Minister Clive Lewis mentions Unite’s backing for her in a video clip posted to Twitter.
 For some, the contest between Ms Harris and Ms Morgan reflects the parallel battle within the party over how future Welsh Labour leaders will be elected.
Ms Harris is backing the Welsh party’s current electoral college system under which one third of the votes go to AMs and MPs, one third to ordinary party members, and one third to trade unions and other affiliated organisations.
Ms Morgan, who has been a member of Unite since 1987, favours a change in the voting system to “one member, one vote” (Omov).
I wonder  how much funding Unions allocate to such leadership elections  but may should be limited to that of the "Labour Link" levy.

 According to Unites  website

Contributing to political activity

To take part in political activity unions have to maintain a political fund – and in UNISON you can choose whether to pay a proportion of your subs into the affiliated political fund (Labour Link), the general political fund (GPF), both, or neither.

General political fund

The general political fund (GPF) is not affiliated to any political party. The money you pay into the fund is used to support local campaigns, to give a boost to the union’s national political campaigns and pay for political advertising.
Much of the high profile political campaign work you see from UNISON is paid for by the general political fund.
But its not just the big things the GPF funds. All sorts of national and local projects and campaigns benefit from receiving funding this way, such as anti-cuts campaigns or local campaigns against hospital closures for example.
If your branch has members in it who pay into the GPF, the branch can apply for financial support for a political campaign or activity.

Labour link

Labour Link works directly within the Labour Party to take UNISON’s policies into the heart of the party.
We work at local and national level and have a network of Labour Link officers at branch, regional and national levels who work together and with other affiliated unions.

UNISON Labour Link regional contact officers

Each UNISON region has a political contact officer who works with the regional Labour Link committees on its activities and organisation.

Labour Link

Parliamentary officer Keith Birch leads the team responsible for Labour Link work. Email: labourlink@unison.co.uk

Labour Link Scotland

The UNISON Labour Link political contact officer in Scotland is Dave Watson. Email: d.watson@unison.co.uk UNISON also has a number of lay members on the Scottish Labour Party Executive.

Labour Link Wales

Labour Link works closely with the Welsh Assembly. It has established a UNISON group of Labour Assembly Members (AMs) and works with them, providing briefings and lobbying on issues affecting UNISON members. The contact officer is Dave Bezzina. Email: d.bezzina@unison.co.uk
Not every Trade Union member is a Labour supporter  and even those who are ave different views  on how the party should be run.

In many ways rather than a voice for the Left the  Unions  support in the past has tended to be against the Left the Party .

Would Jeremy Corbyn be the Labour Leader under  the old system   rather than OMOV

Has there ever been an Independent Audit on how much a been paid into a the General Political Fund and the Labour Link and how this was spent.

What is the membership of Labour Link ?

Even if the likes of Unison were to ballot those in Labour Link on who to support in a Labour Leadership election it effectively means that they can vote twice, the other being in the general party ballot.

For me it is really annoying to see local Trade Union offices covered with Labour Posters even for the most right wing Labour  MP.

Are there Union offices in Vauxhall that do so for Kate Hoey?

The question is should not the Unions accept that  Labour is not the only Party that supports their members interest  .

It is ironic that Jeremy Corbyn, who would never had won the Unions support  probably does have the interest of  Union members more than any recent Labour leader.



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