Socialist Worker

Unison conference round-up

Issue No. 2207

Unison activists (front, left to right) Caroline Beadale, Glenn Kelly and Yunus Bakhsh - disciplined by union but fighting on

Unison activists (front, left to right) Caroline Beadale, Glenn Kelly and Yunus Bakhsh - disciplined by union but fighting on



Time for an end to the witch-hunt

The mood for unity at the conference fed into opposition to the witch-hunt against left wing activists inside the union.

More than 200 delegates held a lunchtime protest outside the conference venue.

This followed a packed fringe meeting which heard from Yunus Bakhsh, Glenn Kelly and Caroline Beadale. All three have faced disciplinary action from the union.

A motion at conference called for a two year limit to suspensions from union office.

It was designed to limit the disciplinary action that could be taken against activists.

The motion won majority support, but very narrowly failed to receive the two-thirds majority required to amend the rules.

The vote is a sign of growing unease at punitive measures against activists at a time when the union needs unity.


Support for United Left

Over 150 delegates attended a United Left meeting addressed by John McDonnell MP, Unison general secretary candidate Paul Holmes and Martin Smith from Unite Against Fascism.


Full backing for Palestinian rights

Delegates overwhelmingly passed a motion supporting Palestinian self-determination, including a review of the union’s relationship with Israel’s Histadrut union, which supported the state’s raid on the Freedom Flotilla.


Labour and the union – weak link

A discussion of the union’s affiliated political fund, which gives money to Labour, showed the erosion of links between many Unison branches and the party.

A delegate from Northumberland said only 12 full-time workers in his branch pay into the Labour fund, but 1,800 pay into the union’s general political fund.


If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Article information

News
Tue 22 Jun 2010, 22:49 BST
Issue No. 2207
Share this article


Related


Tags



Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.