The Defend the Link campaign, boosted by a decision from the Labour Representation Committee conference on 23 November to build it “as widely as possible”, is circulating a “model response” to the interim report by Ray Collins on the Labour-union link.
Collins was asked to write the report by Labour leader Ed Miliband after Miliband’s 9 July speech calling for a change in union-Labour relations in the wake of lurid allegations about the Unite union’s activities in Falkirk CLP.
Both a police and a Labour inquiry have found nothing against Unite, but Miliband is pressing ahead.
Responses to Collins’ interim report must be in by 24 December. Then Collins will prepare definite proposals to go to a Labour Party special conference in spring 2014.
Pressure from local Labour Parties is important. Even more pivotal is the response of unions, and in the first place of Unite itself.
Unite’s dominant United Left faction meets on 30 November, and the first item of business will be a discussion on the issue led by Unite general secretary Len McCluskey.
The previous United Left meeting passed firm policy to maintain trade union representation in Labour structures. That policy should be reaffirmed.