Socialist Worker

Build the rank and file

Issue No. 2343

Both candidates in this election hold left wing views and call themselves socialists.

But the difference between them is more important. The key divide in any union is between the rank and file workers and the bureaucracy of mostly unelected full time officials.

These officials are not part of the workforce, but instead find themselves mediating between it and the bosses.

Their lives are often closer to those they negotiate with than those they represent.

They don’t feel the pressure of attacks in the workplace—but they do feel the pressure not to risk the union’s assets in avoidable confrontations.

Building fighting unions requires more than left wing officials. It requires a confident and organised rank and file.

Jerry’s campaign can help to build this.

He is a longstanding rank and file militant in the union, and he is calling for more action.

This is a chance for socialists to approach Unite members in workplaces across Britain to raise these arguments and make contact with those who agree.

And the better his vote, the more confidence it can give to those who want a fighting union.

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