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Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Milibands plans to cut down union influence in labour, time for unions to pull out funding them

So we read this morning that in the Guardian Ed milibands plans to shake up the labour party to gain him further control of it for himself and his new direction. He wish's to water down the union link even further giving working people even less of a voice. I am not a supporter of labour and detest their love for capitalism but this interests me as many working class people still feel labour is a home. This move by Miliband will hopefully be another nail in the labour party coffin and a start for unions to wake up and do something radical. Eitehr fight properly and take on the capitalists in the party and win or pull out all together and help form a new workers party which is desperatly needed in britain today.

Here is a piece from the guardian article below.

Ed Miliband is facing a tense battle with trade union leaders after tabling plans to lessen their influence within the Labour party, by reducing their voting power at party conference to below 50% and diluting their sway over leadership elections.

The move, revealed to the Guardian by union sources, is part of a plan to democratise the party and make union general secretaries more accountable.

It will face stiff opposition because unions see it as an attempt to weaken their historic links to Labour.

Discussions about the proposals, part of the Refounding Labour project, will come to a head in the next month before the annual party conference opens in Liverpool on 25 September.

The plans are likely to especially rankle with unions since it was their support that helped the younger Miliband defeat his brother David in the Labour leadership election.

Miliband has told the unions that he is not going to back down on his plans to make the party more democratic, and maintains that to do so will require changes to Labour's internal democracy and the role that unions play.

A source involved in drawing up the proposals said: "We cannot go on with a system in which unions have 50% of the vote at conference, and just three general secretaries of three unions control four-fifths of that union vote. Currently, the union leaders are playing hard ball but they need to wake up.

"Ed has said he wants to do this through consensus, but he is not going to give the unions a veto about change. We are not going to concede."

Miliband has already angered unions with proposals for members of the public to be allowed to register as individual party supporters, a new category, and be given a vote in the election of party leader.

He is also facing resistance to a plan that affiliated unions hand over a list of their 3 million political levy payers so that the party, constituencies and future leadership candidates can contact them directly, and build stronger links between local parties and individual union members.

The unions insist that the party should not communicate with their members directly, but instead through their representatives. In a submission to the Refounding Labour project, the affiliated unions cite data protection issues, claiming it might breach laws on political campaigning to hand over the data.

The Refounding Labour project is being overseen by Peter Hain, the experienced former minister and shadow Welsh secretary.

Leaders of affiliated trades unions have put forward rival plans to restore the power of Labour's annual conference as the sovereign policy-making body, and remove MPs' separate voting section for the party leadership.

Union resistance is so entrenched that Miliband may be forced to postpone plans to put some key reforms to conference, and wait for a report into the future funding of political parties due to be published in October by the committee on standards in public life. That report, commissioned by the government, could propose caps as low as £50,000 on individual donations to political parties, which would have radical implications for relations with the unions.

A senior union figure involved in the talks said: "We are fed up with being treated as an embarrassment by successive Labour leaders. We have put forward our own proposals to make conference the source of legitimate party policy."

The unions are proposing a small change that would allow more groups to be affiliated to the party and vote in the union section at conference.

Miliband has put a range of proposals to union leaders, including giving the 102-strong national policy forum a third or a fifth of the vote at conference, so reducing the union share to 40%. Alternatively, he has suggested informally, there could be a voting role at conference for elected representatives – MPs or councillors. Since 1993, the unions have held half the conference vote, constituencies the other half. Three giant unions - Unison, the GMB and Unite - together hold almost four-fifths of the union section of the vote.




I am a political levee payer for a labour affiliated union, unite unfortunatly. I oppose them paying any of my money to a party which has attacked working people for years now. I am looking into stopping my political levee untill uunite backs a fighting party again. I see in the article unions getting frustrated by lack of democracy and attemptst o block them out. Well its about time they woke up and smelt the coffee. We've been telling this to tehm for years and they ahve not listned. They could have took back the party but they havent they have sat back while labour were in power.

Now is the time to act. We in the socialist party and in other non affiliated unions would back a fight to take back the labour party by the unions but they got to be serious about it. We do not think at this point they are and the grass roots is not either serious about taking it back for workers.
People will not have forgotten Ed Milibands disgusting comments comndeming the public sector strikes over pensions last month. Workers do not have short memories and will act against labour if they carry on on this path.

I do hope unions chose the right path and either fight or leave they need to be giving Miliband and labour a ultimatium either you go or we go as working class people need a political voice and at present labour does not give that i'm afraid.

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