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

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Collins Interim Report – more questions than answers

#lab13 Paul Kenny of the GMB and chair of TULO spoke on behalf of all Labour’s affiliated unions in Sunday’s short debate on the interim report of Lord Collins and threw down the gauntlet to those wanting to marginalise unions in the Labour Party: ‘the desire to expand party membership is a shared one but, let nobody be under any illusion that as collective organisations the removal or sale of our collective voice is not on the agenda.’

He then reminded the conference of the many occasions when the Labour leadership disregarded policy warnings from unions on issues such as housing and PFI: ‘collective voices ignored in favour of free market dogma. So be assured the collective voices of millions of working people and their families, and a hundred years of shared history, will not be washed away or sold for an electoral gimmick. There are many more questions than answers in this report as you would expect. The next few weeks will determine whether we make or break the collective link.’

Bold, united and welcome words of resistance from TULO but Professor Gregor Gall outlined the scale of the problem posed by Labour’s proposed constitutional changes in an excellent pre-conference article on the Unions Home website: ‘it is difficult to see how achieving such social democratic aims can be done without union members acting collectively. The individual opt in system will atomise and de-collectivise them. Unions as the embodiment of the collective will are essential to having anything approximating to a decent Labour Party’