Break the Labour link, equal pay without pay cuts and public-sector unity to win this year's pay claim! These were the main demands of Socialist Party member and Manchester Advice senior steward Jim Cessford, when he stood for assistant branch secretary in Manchester (local government).
Despite a dirty campaign waged by the ruling clique of pro-Labour branch officers, Jim won over 400 votes.
In a personal capacity, Jim told the socialist: "During the campaign I focussed on the real issues affecting members, like low pay, privatisation, job cuts, and single status. The branch officers concentrated on branding me as incapable of doing the job, and then resorting to smears and lies about what my campaign was all about.
"What the campaign shows is the vital need for a well-organised shop stewards' movement to begin to transform the leadership of Unison in Manchester."