Len McCluskey has secured almost 1100 nominations in his campaign to be re-elected Unite General Secretary. The nominations come from every region of Unite and from every one of Unite’s sectors. I am pleased that many nominations came from Unite’s manufacturing section, in branches, workplaces and chapels – ranging from aerospace, defence, automotive’s, IT, print and paper, steel, metals, chemical, oil, engineering, electrical, electronics, servicing, communications, professional and general manufacturing.
This shows the confidence our membership and our union reps have in Len’s leadership and the progressive policies that he has established and are our now in place. During the past few weeks Len has attended rallies and meetings across the country explaining the policies that have transformed and unified Unite. In the past 12 months Unite has increased membership by well over 50,000 members, the majority of them in manufacturing through the 100% campaign.
Unite has become a union that stands up for its members – no matter who you are, whether you work in a small business, a privately owned company, the public sector or a mulit-national – Len McCluskey is on your side helping to fight for better pay, better conditions, secure jobs and better skills and training.
- In manufacturing Len has supported and led the 100% and organising campaigns.
- He has supported a new skills and training structure for the UK.
- He has led the campaign for decent employment rights; opposed the new round of anti-union laws introduced by the Coalition and supported a campaign for proper information and consultation procedures;
- Supported the establishment of strong links with other manufacturing unions here and abroad and most importantly our strategic campaigning in sectors such as the automotive sector, in oil refineries, in aerospace, defence and shipbuilding, in the steel industry and the fight for UK manufacturing.
Manufacturing is now back on the top of the agenda. Many of Unite’s policies, promoted and supported by Len McCluskey, are now becoming Labour party policy. The need to intervene, invest and grow manufacturing is now part of the alternative economic strategy – an alternative to stagnation and a debilitating and draining recession.
To those who say we should cut our ties with Labour, ask them how else will we secure a manufacturing strategy which will grow the economy and influence the future – for all of our members. How will we campaign get our young people into decent jobs and apprenticeships?
Ask Unite members employed at London Taxi International, who saved their factory through the campaigning influence of not only of Unite – but by working with Labour MPs.
During the past few weeks Len has explained the vision for the future of our union – a union that is fighting for members and growing again, reaching out beyond the workplace to the community.
There have been no undeliverable promises or half-baked ideas masquerading as policy. There has been no harking back to old structures with no future or place in a modern, fighting and campaigning union.
Over the coming weeks Len McCluskey will be meeting members and union reps across the UK and Ireland, putting the case for his re-election. Along with all the National Officers working in Manufacturing, I will be supporting Len, and campaigning to win every vote in the election.
We need to ensure we get the vote out. We need to get every Unite member to vote for the future and vote for for Len. @Unite4Len
Voting papers will be despatched to members from 18 March onwards and the deadline for return of papers is Friday 12 April 2013. Any member who has not received their voting paper by Wednesday 3 April 2013 should contact the ballot enquiry service on 0800 783 3856 (0818 333 155 from the Irish Republic).
Tony Burke is Assistant General Secretary of Unite the Union and blogs at Power in a Union.