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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 February 2013

Attempts to force Unison branches to affiliate to Labour

A West Midlands Unison activist

The article by Andy Bentley in issue 750 of the Socialist 'There is an alternative to cuts!' was spot on.

It was very encouraging to hear that a Unison branch had suspended its funding to Stoke Labour Party - quite right when they are aiding and abetting the Tories in attacking our members.

However I was shocked to see a letter to my Unison branch dated 24 January from the Unison regional organiser for the Affiliated Political Fund (APF)/Labour Link.

This gave just over two weeks' notice that unless objections were raised by those members (about 1/3 of membership) who pay in to the APF, the region would automatically affiliate our branch to the local constituency Labour Party. If they didn't hear back from the branch then they would affiliate us anyway.

It also states clearly that the branch committee, the democratic body of the branch which involves lay officers and stewards has absolutely no authority to make any decision. So we have a Labour council attacking us here, poised to vote through 800 job losses and the regional officials want to us to hand over more money to their party!

This is yet another example of the depths the Unison bureaucracy will stoop to, to try and maintain the abusive relationship with the Labour Party.

This year's national executive elections give us a chance to elect Unison activists who have a completely different view of how our union should be run.

The Socialist Party is a key part of the 'Reclaim the Union' slate and we urge all Unison members to support it.

We cannot always publish the names of Unison members because of the history of witch-hunting of socialists and activists in that union. The Socialist supports the fight for democratic and fighting unions

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In The Socialist 6 February 2013:


Socialist Party NHS campaigning

Fight to save NHS

Revolt against pay cuts strengthened at Mid-Yorkshire NHS

Lewisham hospital protests continue

Whipps Cross workers prepare for fight against jobs and pay cuts

Scrap PFI, not our hospitals


Socialist Party news and analysis

Cracks in the coalition - we must take advantage of the divided enemy

As Gove attacks teachers: NUT leaders - delay no longer

Childcare plans spell disaster

Them & Us


Socialist Party feature

Organised fightback needed to save council services


Socialist Party reviews and comments

Cut tax dodging not benefits

Film review: Steven Spielberg's Lincoln


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Brutal cuts announced in Cardiff

Derby Labour councillors 'oppose' cuts - then vote for them

Tamil Solidarity looks at 65 years of 'independence' in Sri Lanka

Support the Socialist with a May Day greeting

Socialist Party regional conferences


Socialist Party workplace news

Workers tell Bromley council: We won't sign up to your plans

Labour cuts better than Tory ones?

Attempts to force Unison branches to affiliate to Labour

London mayor pressing ahead with fire service cuts

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: Battle for control of mining sector


 

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Related links:

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triangleWest Midlands Socialist Party: Learning from the Black Panthers - organising, defence & demands

triangleWest Midlands trade union activists discuss the battle for safety on the front line

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