Sunday, September 26, 2010

Labour Party conference 2010: General Election report (the role of unions)

I am listening to the debate on the General Election in the conference hall.   Andy Kerr (Labour NEC and CWU) has just spoken about the role of the unions in the election.  He thanked the unions and in particular TULO for their work.  In the election the unions fought for a “fair future for all working people”.  He compared the role of the unions in elections on both sides of the Atlantic. 
During this election as in America, what was found to work is one union member talking to one. New media helps but it is no substitute for targeted calls to targeted seats by trade union volunteers.  The unions used targeted direct mail.  Aided by polling and which was also used to tackle members concerns especially BNP threat. The unions ran voter registration and postal vote campaigns. 
TULO used its website to support the wider campaign and to respond quickly to events.  The unions had deadicated organisers for all key seat seats.  Remember that not all members use internet.  Anti-tory posters and bill boards were most effective.  The unions were major funders in the election but it was not just money. 

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