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Manchester Unison elections: Left candidates well supported
"Your leaflet has gone down really well here!" That's what one steward rang me up to say after his members had read the Left slate election leaflet for the Unison Manchester local government branch.
Jim Cessford, Manchester Unison, personal capacity
He continued: "They like the 'no more money to New Labour' demand and totally agree over fighting pay cuts."
The socialist challenge to the branch leadership has gone well, despite a dirty tricks campaign from the pro-New Labour branch leadership.
The four left candidates campaigned to put members' interests before an alliance with New Labour and argued for real democracy in our union. We've put the case for securing equal pay but without pay cuts, through action if necessary. We are proposing public-sector unity for better pay and to fight cuts in jobs and services and against privatisation.
The current branch leaders put out a disgraceful leaflet, claiming: "Unlike the other [ie left] group of candidates we actually have experience of representing members in the workplace."
But myself, John Clegg, Dave Kemp and Neil McAllister have over 80 years experience between us of representing members at every level.
Our second leaflet explained the poor record of the current leadership. Many members have suffered pay cuts and a worsening of conditions, including reception staff at council buildings, and porters and library, gallery and museum staff.
The votes will be counted on 23 February. Whatever happens we will continue the urgent task of building an effective leadership capable of defending our members against the employers and government.
In The Socialist 18 February 2009:
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news and analysis