The campaign by Jerry Hicks, the rank and file candidate for the general secretary of the Unite union is going from strength to strength.
Last week Jerry and his supporters learnt that he was certainly on the ballot paper, giving members a chance to vote for a real alternative. This is a great result, but there is still more work to be done.
More nominations and support from branches and regions can deepen the support for Jerry, and take him further on the road to a good result.
He has already received nominations from branches in all parts of the country. Jerry has visited dozens of workplaces, taking his message out to the members that he wants the union to be central to the fightback against the Tory cuts.
Workers everywhere are looking for the signs of resistance. Unite is the biggest union in Britain, with over 1.5 million members in all sectors of the economy, this makes the election for the union’s general secretary very significant.
Jerry argues that there is no need for any cuts to public services, pay and pensions but that the collection of the £100 billion worth of tax evasion by the rich and big business should pay for the crisis that is not of working people’s making.
He is in the unique position of being an ordinary member of the Union whereas the other three candidates are all appointed senior officials—assistant general secretaries
Jerry believes that all union officials should be elected—none of the other candidates do. If elected, Jerry would only take an average member’s wage where the others all would claim the six-figure salary.
He is the one candidate who argues that fundamental change is needed in the union’s relationship with New Labour which he describes as being too close, too cosy, paying too much, for far too little.
He argues for a restriction of support to only those MPs or councillors who vote for and actively campaign for Unite's policies, of which a priority would be the repeal of all anti-union laws.