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

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Labour must think again about 'battering the union link'

During the Brown led Labour Government the Communications Workers Union (CWU) demonstrated more than any other trade union the value of the Union Labour link. In October 2008 the newly appointed (and ennobled) Labour Business Secretary Lord Mandelson indicated his support for partial privatisation of the Post Office, contrary to the 2005 Labour manifesto.

In March 2009 he published to that end the Postal Services Bill but met with ferocious opposition from the CWU as well as many backbench Labour MPs.

By July 2009, Mandelson, at the height of his powers, had backed down. So no surprise that CWU General Secretary Billy Hayes is posing serious questions about the Ed Miliband initiated Collins Review and next year's special Spring Conference which he suggests 'is to become a rubber-stamp for ending the effective, collective involvement of the trade unions in the party. Precisely why this is so urgent has not been explained. A relationship that has endured for over a century surely warrants a more considered examination'