GMB PRESS RELEASE 06/07/2004
LABOUR PARTY FUNDING
GMB MEMBERS VOTE TO GIVE PARTY £0
A 'WATERSHED MOMENT' APPROACHING
GMB is the General, Municipal and Boilermakers Union, one of the largest trade unions in the UK.
The GMB Union's Central Executive Committee (CEC) has today voted to give the Labour Party £0 after the Party approached trade unions for additional funding towards its General Election campaign.
The Labour Party had asked the GMB to consider contributing an extra £744,000 to the Party's central coffers. Instead the GMB's executive has voted to fund only those Labour MPs who 'share the GMB's aims and values'.
The union's members will now draw up a list of MPs who share the union's aims and values and the CEC Political Committee will then consider how best to help return these MPs on a case by case basis.
The GMB also announced that this support could be extended to any Labour MP who shares the union's aims and values, and would not be exclusive to those MPs who are members of the 130 strong GMB group.
GMB General Secretary Kevin Curran said:
"Like the Prime Minister the GMB supports increased choice - so from now our members will be free to choose which Labour candidates they want to help return to Parliament.
"The entirely bogus 'choice' debate, and recent Ministerial bragging about flexible labour markets and the denial of equal treatment at work with other European citizens, are disturbing examples of a growing disconnect between the aspirations of working people and 10 Downing Street.
"GMB members have today made it abundantly clear that they expect the Government to address their concerns on a wide range of issues such as the two tier workforce, compulsory pensions and manufacturing job losses.
"We will be evaluating very carefully what comes out of the July National Policy Forum and Party Conference this year.
"GMB members want to work to deliver a third term Labour Government - but only one that is elected on a radical manifesto that will deliver social justice to every citizen in the UK.
"The GMB is concerned that unless Labour brings about policies that can re-energise Labour's core support and connect with Labour voters in the heartlands that the Party's support will continue to erode and we will reach a watershed moment in our relationship."