Thursday, 1 April 2010

Lambeth UNISON Election Vote Vetoed

The Unison website states that "UNISON is a member led democratic organisation".

However, a motion passed at a recent Lambeth UNISON Branch Committee, calling for an indicative vote at a hustings of local general election candidates, has been vetoed by UNISON's largely unelected regional bureaucracy.

Lambeth Activists have long campaigned for the democratisation of political funding in order for workers to advance their collective interests, rather than blindly fund a Labour Party that has publically promised to "cut deeper and tougher than Margaret Thatcher".

A motion previously submitted to Lambeth UNISON's Branch Committee, calling for the formation of a local voluntary political fund had already been vetoed. An amended motion was then passed calling for a hustings after which an indicative vote would be held.

An (unelected) regional officer has since advised Lambeth UNISON that to even conduct a show of hands at a hustings to gauge support for political candidates, could be in breach of national rules. "Rule J" states that political support and resources may only be given to the Labour Party through the Labour Link. This is despite the fact that the majority of members in Lambeth and nationally in UNISON have opted not to support to the Labour Party!

What then for the right of these members to collectively advance their interests in the political arena? It seems that Unison is not as "member led" as it claims to be.

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