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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 June 2019

Socialists in Unison hold positions in elections despite ban on campaigning

Surrey Unison marching against austerity in April 2018

Surrey Unison marching against austerity in April 2018   (Click to enlarge)

Glenn Kelly, Socialist Party industrial organiser

28 socialists who are supporters of broad left group Unison Action have been re-elected to the national executive committee of public sector union Unison maintaining its position on the 67-strong committee.

Six Socialist Party members were re-elected out of the seven seats we held. The right-wing hold on the union executive remains tenuous with just 31 of their slate elected.

Frightened, and in a desperate bid to hold on to power, the union leadership took the unprecedented step this year to not only ban members of political parties campaigning in their party name. They also said that even an organisation made up of "exclusively Unison members" was to be defined as an "outside organisation" and banned from campaigning under the threat of disciplinary action.

Disgracefully, as we go to print, it is possible that four Unison Action supporters - three of them Socialist Party members - may face the threat of a witch hunt for simply calling for a vote for themselves and others on Facebook!

The Socialist Party is used to dealing with witch hunts and the union should know that we will fight any attempt to victimise or remove elected members.

The Unison Action steering committee voted to defend the right to campaign enshrined in the union rule book and agreed to defy the ban on campaigning as it was in breach of the rules.

However this decision was undermined by some of the national steering committee and even Unison Action officers who ignored this decision and in the end no material was produced.

Not surprisingly this attack on democracy has seen a further fall in the turnout in the election with just 4.5% of the membership voting.

As with some other unions many members have, and see, no day-to-day connection with the national leadership and the need to change it. After all, the current Unison leadership has presided over nearly a million lost jobs since 2010 and a massive fall in living standards.

For many the union is most relevant when it's seen to fight to defend members at a local level where we have seen major victories in the likes of Glasgow, Birmingham and Mid Yorkshire, where a fighting socialist lead has been given.

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In The Socialist 12 June 2019:


Safe homes for all

Fire tears through Barking flats - cladding off now!

Grenfell two years on - Still fighting for safety and justice


Nationalise to stop closures

Ford closure announcement must be met with united response of defiance

Nationalise Ford to prevent closure

Fight the closures save every job!


News

Widespread condemnation of horrifying, violent, homophobic assaults

Terrible child murders linked to cuts

Tory drug hypocrisy


Workplace news

Scottish airport strikes - fight for better pay and pensions

Stagecoach strike - bus workers show how it's done

Socialists in Unison hold positions in elections

South Western Railway guards to strike again

Socialist Party members make big impact at trades council conference

Southampton hospital workers win

Sellafield nuclear workers' strike


International socialist news and analysis

Southern Ireland elections

Sudan: Military crackdown to break revolution

Nigeria: Stop police harassment of Abbey and Azeez!


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

D-Day for fighting Trump attack on NHS

Edmonton joins Enfield North Labour in supporting 'no cuts' fightback strategy

Save Essex libraries protest


Opinion

TV Review: Chernobyl - Workers' heroism vs sclerotic Stalinism

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

Unison:

triangleReinstate Tony Smith

triangleA critical election for Unison general secretary

triangleHugo Pierre for Unison general secretary

triangleTower Hamlets council workers strike against wholesale attack on terms and conditions

triangleTrade union activists from across the south of England discuss the battle for safety on the frontline

Elections:

triangleTUSC to stand in elections again against pro-austerity politicians

triangleTime to relaunch TUSC

trianglePCS executive majority cancels union democracy

triangleUCU: election victory for combative rank and file

Union:

triangleLobbying for a lead from the TUC

triangleReinstate Richie Venton

triangleFight Amazon's anti-union spies

Socialist:

triangleSouth East Wales Socialist Party: World in Crisis - Can capitalism overcome it?

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: The US presidential election

Socialist Party:

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: How can we change the system?

Glenn Kelly:

triangleTesting shambles: unions must fight back

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