OVER ONE million members of the new Amicus union will have a chance to decide the future of their union when ballot papers go out for the national executive elections next Monday.
Amicus was formed by the merger of the MSF and AEEU unions.
Both unions had been run by groups that had put partnership with the bosses and New Labour above the interests of members.
Derek Simpson sent shockwaves through the unions when he beat Blair's favourite trade unionist Ken Jackson to win the general secretary elections in the AEEU last year.
The left wing Amicus Unity Gazette group is standing 46 candidates in every section in the election. It wants to transform the union.
Jerry Hicks, a candidate for the left slate in aerospace and shipbuilding, told Socialist Worker, 'We began the process of transforming the union with the booting out of Jackson last year. I have already noticed some change in the union.
'But Derek Simpson will need constant reminding of his election pledges-democracy and challenging the bosses. These elections are an opportunity to bring about a union to be proud of rather than ashamed of. If people believed that their union would always back them in action shop stewards and members would feel more empowered.
'There is a choice in this election between those that preach democracy and don't practise it and those that believe in democracy. Those that vote in the elections must encourage their workmates to vote too. These elections will set the tone for years for the new union. I'm sick and tired of excuses from the bosses. They're raking in millions in profits and at the same time attacking our pensions and scrapping jobs. It's about time we reversed that.'
The candidates for the Amicus Unity Gazette group are:
Aerospace and shipbuilding: Jerry Hicks, Tam Mitchell and Neil Sheehan. Chemicals, pharmaceuticals and process: Ron Milne and John Oliver. Construction and contracting: Billy Spiers and Phil Willis. Education, government departments and local authorities: William Gowans and Pat McCourt. Electronics/telecoms, Electrical engineering and IT: Ian Allinson and Sergio Requena-Reuda. Energy: Mike Gaskell. Finance: Graham Hunt and Ebrahim Tavasoli. Food, drink and tobacco: Jeff Tate. Foundry and metals: Peter Currall and Eddie Grimes. FPA/CMA: Colin Walker. General industries and servicing: Tony Lewis, Dean Taylor, Peter Taylor and Howard Turner. Health service: Gill George, Dave Hutchinson and Janet Moir. Motor vehicles and components: Harry Copland, Martin McMulkin and George Taylor. Transport: Paul Thomas. Voluntary and not for profit and business services: John Barr. Women: Sharon Allen, Pauline Frazer, Vi Huddart and Jane Stewart. Regions: East, Mick Longley; South East, Peter Kelly; South West, Ray Bazely; London, Pete Gillard; West Midlands, Derek Barlow; East Midlands, Matt Simmons; Yorkshire, Steve Davison; North East, Brian Cole; North West, Brian Pemberton; Scotland, Davy Brockett; Wales, Meurig Thomas; Ireland, Laurence Galbraith.
For more information go to www.amicusunitygazette.com