Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1049/29344

From The Socialist newspaper, 3 July 2019

Steps forward and missed opportunities at Unite rules conference

Unite the Union, photo Paul Mattsson

Unite the Union, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Kevin Parslow, delegate, Unite union rules conference (personal capacity)

General union Unite's 2019 rules conference made some important steps forward but missed opportunities to develop member participation. It also passed amendments that could be dangerous to the left in the future.

Unite's retired and community members were both promised democratic regional and national structures.

The union's executive council has been forced, due to the opposition of its youth committees, to reverse its previous decision to limit the age of participation in the youth structures from 30 to 27. After it was changed in 2018, there had been a halving in the number of activists.

This reflects that many young workers don't get active in their union until their late 20s. However, contributions from young members showed that in hospitality and other sectors, some young workers are taking on representative roles even in their teens.

A proposal from Unite LE/1228 Waltham Forest Council branch, supported by Socialist Party members, for an annual branch delegate-based policy conference, fell when an executive council statement was carried.

This recognised the need to increase attendance at policy conference, and to look at the structure of all the union's conferences. But it halved the current attendance at future rules conferences as these were 'inward looking' and 'technical'.

A union's rules cannot be divorced from its industrial and political strategy as they reflect its attitude to action.

The passing of a rules amendment to raise the threshold for nominations for candidates seeking to become general secretary of the union were a step back. Previously, 50 nominations from at least two regions were necessary. Now, 5% of branches (currently over 3,000) in at least three regions will be required. This could be used against left candidates in the future if the right were to ever gain control of the union.

The danger of identity politics in the labour movement was revealed in the equalities debate. A delegate who raised serious questions about the effect of a rule amendment that could exclude some other groups from what will become the 'black and Asian ethnic minorities committee' was verbally attacked from the speakers' rostrum.

Rulebooks and laws cannot erase racism in a trade union or society as a whole. Only fighting policies against racism and austerity can begin to eliminate the divisions in organisations of the working class.

These policies were present at the Socialist Party meeting, introduced by party executive committee member Rob Williams. Attended by a number of delegates, including a Honda Swindon worker, the need for Unite to be at the head of movements fighting plant closures and redundancies was emphasised as part of the struggle for socialist change.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 3 July 2019:


Workplace news

Angry Usdaw members strike at Sainsbury's distribution centre over sick pay cut

Sick of your boss? Join a union! Fight for socialism

Construction workers protest in defence of union rights and against anti-worker EU

Socialists in PCS union launch new group to fight general secretary election

Steps forward and missed opportunities at Unite rules conference

London Arriva bus drivers vote for strike action over bullying and workload

Birmingham school strike for safe working environment

Lancashire Stagecoach drivers continue their fight

Birmingham uni workers strike against terms and conditions attacks


What we think

Sinister moves against Corbyn can be beaten by clear socialist policies


News

Same old millionaire Tories - Fight to kick them out

Nationalisation is answer to Southern Water cover up

Gig-economy exploitation doubles

Even social-care bosses say cuts have gone too far

Them & Us

What we saw


Stonewall riots

Stonewall riots' legacy shows need for socialist struggle to win LGBT+ liberation


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialist Party secures new offices

Angry Barking residents protest outside sales office

Tamil Solidarity Day: Linking up oppressed people's struggles

Coventry says no to congestion charge

Carlisle Labour/Lib Dem coalition cuts care home beds

Sell the Socialist and take out an e-subscription

Lincoln Uni NUS disaffiliation: a question of on-campus democracy

Stourbridge: Keep our college!


International socialist news and analysis

New opportunity to build working-class fightback after voters punish Erdogan

Irish health workers' anger boils over into strike action


Opinion

The Socialist inbox

TV: Years and Years - Engaging family drama pushes confused, reactionary message


 

Home   |   The Socialist 3 July 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Unite:

triangleWales: Hundreds march to save the Orb works

triangleBirmingham HS2 protest against bosses' attacks on trade union organisation

triangleLincolnshire health visitors strike boost

triangleStudents and workers unite against fees, low pay climate change

triangleLeeds pensioners occupy BBC to save free TV licenses

Union:

trianglePCS union - A reply on political strategy

triangleMassive vote for strike action: - "We're out to win!"

trianglePressure needed to force secret police disclosure

triangleMinimum wage debate: how can we end the scandal of low pay?

Socialist:

triangleCarlisle Socialist Party: Tony Mulhearn - the making of a Liverpool Militant

triangleBirmingham South West Socialist Party: Black History Month

triangleUprising in Ecuador forces government climbdown

Council:

triangleTony Mulhearn 1939-2019: Courageous fighter for the working class and socialism

triangleLincolnshire health visitors strike

Rob Williams:

triangleFord closure announcement must be met with united response of defiance

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/10/19

Postal workers

Massive vote for strike action: - "We're out to win!"

16/10/19

PCS

General secretary election: Marion Lloyd - standing for action on members' pay, jobs, pensions and more

16/10/19

Socialist Party

Be part of the future: join the Socialist Party

16/10/19

Waltham Forest

Mass union mobilisation needed to counter anti-choice group

16/10/19

Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance

Pressure needed to force secret police disclosure

16/10/19

Climate change

Trade unionists discuss climate change

16/10/19

National Education Union

NEU support staff dismiss Tory 'extra funding' hype

16/10/19

Hackney

Hackney SEND transport workers achieve victory

16/10/19

RMT

RMT: Jared Wood - Fighting cuts, defending jobs, pay and conditions

16/10/19

Wales

Wales: Hundreds march to save the Orb works

15/10/19

Derbyshire

Flooring workers strike, Derbyshire

9/10/19

Caerphilly

Attacks on Caerphilly waste management workers

9/10/19

PCS

BEIS: Outsourced caterers' indefinite strike victory

9/10/19

York

York freshers success

9/10/19

Leeds

'The little people can win' - Leeds tenants push back demolition

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999