Sunday, 29 September 2013

Campaign to defend the link

Campaign to Defend the Link

The Branch Committee in early September passed the following motion.
We will carry more discussion on this vital subject and encourage you all to contribute to the discussion

Islington UNISON is disappointed that Ed Miliband and the Labour Leadership have decided to attack the affiliated Trade Unions including UNISON by proposing to end collective affiliation of those unions. We agree with Dave Prentis when he says that this review of the Labour Link is a diversion and that the Labour Party should concentrate its energy on fighting the  Government’s austerity  programme and defending the working class. We are also are disappointed by attacks from the Labour Leadership and Blairites like Peter Mandelson on our fellow union Unite and it is now clear that Unite broke no rules in Falkirk.

Islington UNISON agrees with what has become to be known as the ‘Tolpuddle statement’ which says:

“The creation of the Labour Party opened up the possibility of political representation for working class people.
The relationship between the trade unions and the Party has been and remains central to the role of the Party in representing the interests of working people.
We therefore support:
- the collective affiliation of trade unions to the Party;
- collective decision making by trade unionists within the Party;
- representation for, and involvement of, trade unions at every level of the Party.
We will campaign for this throughout the Party and trade unions and call on all labour movement activists to make submissions to the Collins review in accordance with the above principles.”
Further we note that despite the link, there have been many changes to Labour Party values, rules and policy that have been against the interests of working people including "Partnership into power", the abolition of Clause 4 and the restriction of putting motions to the Annual conference. All of these changes unfortunately have been done with the support of the trade unions including UNISON and its predecessor unions.
Islington Unison believes that the affiliated trade unions should stand up to the Labour leadership and defend the interests of its members in and outside the party. However unions will not be able to do in the party if the Link is ended.
Islington UNISON therefore agrees to add its name to the Defend the link statement above. 

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