Socialist Worker

What we think: Unity is needed on left in Unite

Issue No. 2255

The national co-ordinating committee of the United Left (UL), Unite the union’s broad left, is set to meet on Saturday.

Some members are arguing that the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) should be excluded from the UL because we argued in Socialist Worker that British Airways (BA) workers should reject a deal supported by the union leadership.

We have spelled out our concerns about the deal at British Airways and argued for a no vote in the ballot.

We have consistently supported striking cabin crew and argued for a strategy to carry the fight forward involving wider sections of BA workers.

SWP members on the Unite executive and the editor of Socialist Worker made separate formal approaches to the union’s executive council and general secretary. We offered a right of reply to those who disagreed with the article or claimed it was inaccurate, which we have not received.

We understand why some in UL and the Bassa section of Unite, who have fought so hard against BA, may believe this is the best possible deal.

But it is our democratic right to raise concerns about it. In the spirit of open, honest and comradely debate we urge UL supporters to reject the call to exclude SWP members.

This would split the left and transform the UL into a body that barred open debate.

We need a fighting, united UL to oppose the government.

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Article information

Tue 7 Jun 2011, 18:23 BST
Issue No. 2255
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