ACTIVISTS IN the Amicus union are building support for the Amicus Unity Gazette slate that is standing in upcoming national executive elections. This is a great opportunity to create a strong union willing to stand up to the bosses and New Labour.
Amicus was formed when the MSF and AEEU unions merged. Groups that put partnership with management and the government above the interests of their members ran these unions. Gill George, an NHS worker standing for a health service seat on the new executive, told Socialist Worker, 'It was the national health sector advisory meeting last week. John Reid, the health minister, spoke at the conference. He basically said that he didn't care what we wanted. We would get more privatisation and foundation hospitals. The people at the top table just sat there like nodding dogs as he talked about this government's renewed assault on the NHS. The Unity Gazette slate is out to change this, to bring real democracy into the union and put the interests of the members before those of the Labour Party.'
Discredited MSF general secretary Roger Lyons has now given up all his duties. But he will retain his salary of £103,500 until 2007. Many Amicus members are suffering from the crisis in manufacturing. Amicus members at the Hydro Aluminium Motorcast factory in Leeds were told last week that bosses were closing the factory.
Thousands of Amicus members were set to demonstrate in defence of manufacturing at the Labour Party conference on Monday of next week. Amicus Unity Gazette slate candidates will be marching there and campaigning for a fighting union.
Union members should ensure their workplaces and branches nominate candidates and build for the vote in November that could transform the union.