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

Thursday, 30 January 2014

The £113m ghosts in Labour's machine

As the Collins Review of Labour's internal constitution edges towards its anti-climax at a two hour special conference on 1 March, speculation increases that future trade union affiliation (funding and voting) will be based on £3 per year 'associate membership' thus closing off millions of trade unionists from paying a political levy to Labour.
Channel 4 News last night featured a debate between Diane Abbot MP and former CWU General Secretary Alan Johnson MP. The latter could barely conceal his contempt for the collective voice of trade unionists in the party referring to 'ghosts in the machine', 'the facade...the trick whereby people contribute to the Labour Party without knowing' and counter posing trade union leaders to union members. Unfortunately Johnson wasn't challenged about the £113 million of hard earned contributions contributed by trade unionists to Labour over the past decade alone.

Contemptuous the Labour right may be of the union link but they are cunning enough to give the ghosts in the machine otherwise known as trade union levy payers a 5 year extension of time - in the certain knowledge that associate membership will be a damp squib and that it will take time to secure the lifeline of state funding: