Socialist Worker

London post workers to vote on Labour party affiliation

by Yuri Prasad
Issue No. 2168

Post workers in London in the CWU union are so fed up with the way they have been treated by the government that activists have launched a consultative ballot to see if members want to continue supporting the Labour party.

Many expect a massive vote to urge the national union to stop the flow of money to New Labour.

Addressing a strike rally last week, Martin Walsh from the CWU London division said, “To answer the question of whether we should carry on donating to Labour, we have to ask ourselves, where is the Labour government?

“Trade minister Lord Mandelson attacks us as the obstacle to change, while Gordon Brown tells our members to get back to work when they are on strike.

“The fact is that Labour has already divorced us, but we’re still desperately clinging on to them. That’s got to stop.”

Postal worker and former Labour Party member Ryan Ward from Romford agrees.

“I come from an east London family that have been Labour activists for generations,” he says. “And I’ve been out canvassing for Labour in the past.

“But the idea of telling people to vote for this government is a joke. Look at their priorities—we can’t have decent council housing, but we can replace Trident nuclear missiles. We can’t have proper pensions but we can privatise Royal Mail. It’s a disgrace.

“Most people at my mail centre have already come out of the political fund. I believe that the union needs to have a political voice—but there’s no way that Labour can be it.”

The ballot is set to open this week and results are expected to be announced in the week before Labour’s conference.

Growing pressure inside the CWU over Labour funding has already led the union to table a motion at the TUC conference later this month. The motion calls for a full debate on political representation for trade unions.

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