UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Union Labour Link - Use it before you lose it

#lab12 Ahead of the Labour Party Conference, which starts on 30 September, Aslef General secretary Mick Whelan restates the case for the Union-Labour Link. Whelan argues that 'not only should trade unions encourage their members to join and play an active role in the Labour Party, but members of the Labour Party, including elected members, must be actively encouraged to join a trade union. Only in this way will the Labour Party remain a viable fighting machine and trade unions continue to make the voice of working people heard'. http://www.leftfutures.org/2012/09/keeping-the-link-labour-and-the-trade-unions/

Whelan highlights that the recent Sir Christopher Kelly report on party funding - Political Party Finance - Ending the big donor culture - 'has the potential to devastate the Labour Party, and with it any hope the unions have of ever over-turning draconian anti-union legislation.'

Although for the time being the Kelly report has been placed in the pending tray by Con Dem Ministers, there is still plenty of time left for the current government to radically reform trade union political funding by introducing Kelly's recommendations for opting in to political funds (rather than opt out) and for allowing individual members to withdraw from the party affiliation element of the political fund rather than the current all or nothing political fund arrangement of all affiliated unions except UNISON: