Friday, 25 January 2013

Unison branch in Stoke to suspend funding to labour, more should follow!

In very interesting developments in Stoke-on-Trent Unison one of the most right wing difficult to organise in unions in the country stead fast seemingly to the labour party has seen one of its biggest branch’s make a big leap into the unknown. Weather this will come to much or be the start of other branch’s following suit only time will tell. I’d urge all branches and unions affiliated to the labour party to do the same and disaffiliate do not fund a party which’s destroying your pay, conditions and jobs and services. Stand on your own fund yourselves its got to be better than funding labour. Take a look at TUSC where the RMT is officially backing now and support anti cuts candidates. So in Stoke the city's biggest trade union is to withdraw its funding for Labour in protest over cuts to workers' pay. Unison members in Stoke-on-Trent have ordered regional bosses to stop supporting the city's Labour party in an unprecedented bid to force a U-turn on £2 million cuts to staff terms and conditions. It comes after senior Labour councillor Andy Lilley yesterday quit the party over his refusal to support the cuts. The Sentinel has learned that a further six councillors in the city's ruling Labour group – about one-third of its backbenchers – are part of a growing rebellion against cuts which are set to hit hundreds of the authority's lowest paid workers. Unison pays £1,500 grants to constituency groups and also helps with leafleting during elections. Unison branch secretary Clive Rushton said: "The Labour party was born out of the trade union movement and is there to represent the working man. It is now attacking the working man." Cuts to contractual rights including allowances for working nights and weekends, will see low paid workers like social carers lose up to £6,500 a year. An interesting development indeed and something TUSC should really try and push for other unison branches with TUSC influence to popularise. There is much we can do to undermine blink support for labour by unions themselves coming into conflict with labour councils making cuts. Developments like this can be the start of a fight back an expression of the anger and frustration at labour for carrying out the cuts. TUSC will be standing in Stoke this year against all cuts it would be great for us to approach this branch and discuss working class political representation given this recent development. I’d love to see this be the start of something but we cant over state this its just one branch but it shines a beacon now for other branch’s tied to unison who fund the labour party to the tune of millions that they can force the issue if they wish.

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