Union elections

Ian Allinson — an inconsistent critic

Author: 

Dale Street

Ian Allinson is standing as “an experienced workplace activist”, “the grassroots socialist candidate”, and “the only candidate who knows first-hand the experiences and frustrations of our members”. By contrast, writes Allinson, Len McCluskey and Gerard Coyne have both been “been paid officials of Unite for many years.” McCluskey stands for “more of the same” and Coyne stands for “turning the clock back”.

An assessment of Ian Allinson’s campaign to become Unite General Secretary.

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McCluskey moves ahead, but not left

Author: 

Dale Street

In the election campaigning for the post of Unite the Union’s General Secretary, the McCluskey election machine continues to deliver the goods.

With a while still to go before nominations close on 17 February, over 300 branches have nominated Len McCluskey, who has been general secretary since 2011 but has stood down early so he could run for a third term. A statement supporting McCluskey has been signed by 60 out of 64 Executive Council members and a similarly overwhelming majority on other top levels of the union.

The slick campaign being run for Len McCluskey conceals a number of problems, including the gap which separates McCluskey’s election rhetoric from reality, and the gap between McCluskey’s policies and the policies which Unite should be championing.

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Unite: danger of ring-wing swing under Coyne

Author: 

Dale Street

By the end of January Len McCluskey had secured 180 nominations in his bid to remain Unite General Secretary. Ian Allinson, standing on a platform of rank-and-file democracy, had 19 nominations. Gerard Coyne, the candidate of the right, has not publicised how many nominations he has picked up.

Despite being a highly-paid member of the Unite bureaucracy, Gerard Coyne is masquerading as an "anti-establishment" candidate in the union's General Secreatary election.

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Unite general secretary election: don't let Coyne close down the Labour revival!

We should vote for Len McCluskey in the Unite general secretary election for which nominations open on 16 January because it is a first-past-the-post poll, and without left-wing votes going to McCluskey there is a real risk Gerard Coyne will win.

Coyne is heavily backed by the Labour right wing around Tom Watson and Progress. If he wins, he will swing Unite decisively to the anti-Corbyn camp. That could close down all the openings for Labour revival opened by Jeremy Corbyn's leadership victories.

Vote Coyne, and get Watson and Progress: that's the deal.

A Coyne victory could close down the openings for Labour revival opened by Jeremy Corbyn's leadership victories.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Ollie Moore,Simon Nelson and Peggy Carter

Workers at the Ritzy Picturehouse cinema in Brixton struck on Friday 7 October, and will strike again on Saturday 15 October. The Ritzy cinema was completely shut down by the strike, and films due to be shown as part of the London Film Festival moved to other venues.

Picturehouse cinema strikes spread; Southern workers strike again; #Unisongate hearings to start; Hackney traffic wardens fight for unsocial pay; Sheffield bin workers strike.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Neil Laker, Peggy Carter, Ollie Moore, Darren Bedford and Charlotte Zalens

In March, the University of Manchester announced plans to restructure its subsidiary company, UMC, making 46 redundancies in catering while moving the remaining staff on to “term-time only” contracts.

This latter move would have meant cuts of about one third to their total pay. But now, as a result of solid negotiating by Unison, and agitation, occupations and disruption by students, management have backed down. There will be no compulsory redundancies, no loss of hours and no pay cuts.

Manchester University catering staff win; lecturers strike; rail workers’ disputes spread; CalMac ferries stay public; Glen Hart reinstated; left makes gains in PCS.

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Industrial news in brief

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Ruth Cashman, Lambeth Unison (personal capacity), Peggy Carter and Ollie Moore

As the returning officer report about the Unison general secretary election is published, more leaks have shown the level of corruption inside Unison.

Prentis was re-elected general secretary of Unison on a tiny turn-out of 9.8%, an incredibly diminished vote, and with allegations of union staff campaigning for him against the rules of the union. A report by the returning officer report was due out on 10 January, but was published five weeks late.

More Unison corruption leaks; librarians plan more strikes; FE college workers strike over pay; Tube drivers and DLR balloted for strikes

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore, Michael Tron and Gemma Short

Lambeth Libraries staff have voted overwhelmingly for strike action to save jobs and keep all ten Lambeth libraries open.

Staff voted 89% to strike against plans to close libraries and cut jobs. Unison will now be discussing extended strike action with the library workers in the borough. This strike vote follows a community campaign to keep the libraries open, as well as a walk out by staff in December when news circulated that books were already being taken out of one of the libraries.

Lambeth workers strike to save libraries; Tube unions call new strikes; teachers struggle against cuts; support LANAC candidates in NUT; Birmingham job losses; fighting for fair 16-19 funding; FE college pay strike planned; fighting union busting; Sheffield housing strike.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Peggy Carter, Tim Cooper and Ollie Moore

Cleaning and security workers on London’s Docklands Light Railway (DLR) won a big victory before Christmas, settling a long-running dispute over terms and conditions for a deal that represents a 75p/hour pay increase, backdated to April 2015.

The workers, employed by outsourced subcontractor Interserve, struck several times throughout 2015. An RMT statement called the deal “a massive breakthrough”, which “gives some much-needed Christmas cheer to a group of London transport workers who have fought long and hard for pay justice.”

DLR cleaners win; jobs battle continues on Tube; RMT gears up to defend Glen Hart; Momentum on the streets; no mandate for Prentis; Arriva trains strike; Lambeth librarians balloted.

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Unison full-timers caught cheating

Author: 

Unison member

As the ballot closed for Unison’s general secretary election on 4 December, 23 minutes of audio recording were leaked revealing a covert campaign by Unison’s full-time staff to favour incumbent Dave Prentis in clear breach of Unison rules.

Left-wing challenger John Burgess has called for an independent enquiry led by respected labour movement representatives and for any result that secures Prentis’ victory to be declared null and void.
Burgess is right. Although this mess is probably illegal, the labour movement should hold its own to account and mete out its own justice.

Full-time staff campaign for incumbent Dave Prentis in general secretary election

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