Sunday, April 06, 2014

London UNISON Labour Link AGM, Collins Review & GLA Mayor Selection

Last week there was the UNISON Greater London Labour Link AGM. This is our UNISON Labour Party supporting political fund for London. I was pleased to be re-elected unopposed as Chair of the committee.

We had a very good London Assembly report by UNISON member, Joanne McCartney AM (see left of collage) who briefed us amongst other things on the bizarre and contradictory "evidence" that Tory Mayor, Boris Johnson gave to the Assembly in favour of buying second hand German Police water cannon to deal with public order disturbances.

Apart from the usual AGM business of elections, minutes, finance report and work plan, we had a excellent debate on the Collins Review and its consequences for UNISON Labour Link.

Since UNISON has had for the last 20 years separate and voluntary, Labour Party and General Political funds, it is likely that we will be affected less than other affiliated unions by the Collins Review. In fact UNISON could become the largest trade union affiliate to the Labour Party.

The first big election test of the new arrangements could be the selection of the Labour Candidate to be London Mayor for 2016. While UNISON will have to ask all our existing Labour Link members to sign up as Party supporters in order for them to take part in this selection, this should be easier since they have already made a  conscious choice to support Labour than the other unions.

There are about 60,000 existing London UNISON Labour Link member who could be entitled to vote for the selection of a London Mayor candidate. Since there is one person, one vote - this means there could be more UNISON members voting than Party members in London.

There is a huge job of work for us to do in the next few years. While many affiliated trade unionists think that the Collins report was an unnecessary distraction, it is now clearly Party policy and we just have to get on with it.

Picture collage of AGM and top right is that of me with GMB, West & East Ham CLP Comrades and Ray Collins at the Special Labour Party Conference on March 1.

 Hat tip pics Gerard McGrath

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