Activists in the Unite union are winning nominations for Jerry Hicks for the union’s general secretary election.
Jerry, a victimised former Rolls Royce worker, needs a combination of 50 branch and workplace nominations to stand. The nomination period lasts until the end of this month.
Leicester 0168M and Scunthorpe Number 1 are among the latest branches to back Jerry.
The fact he is the only rank and file candidate – with the other three contenders being full-time officers – is drawing union activists to his campaign.
“Historically, my branch has been a right wing one so I wasn’t expecting to get support for Jerry through,” said Martin Copson, a shop steward at the Corus steel plant in Scunthorpe. “But someone else proposed Jerry before me.
“Seven people voted for him, while two voted for Len McCluskey, the present assistant general secretary. Jerry’s support for strikes and the fact he’s not an officer were the key things.”
Mike Thompson, the branch chair of Leicester 0168M, said, “My branch voted unanimously for backing Jerry Hicks. People want a shift in power to the rank and file and a big fightback to the cuts.
“We also voted to back the protest at the Tory Party conference and donated £100 to sacked bus worker Abdul Omer’s campaign.”
The Unite general secretary election will take place in October when 1.7 million members will be balloted. Jerry also needs funds, which can be collected from members at meetings.