THE CAMPAIGN for a new left leadership in the Unison union got off to a flying start last week when the union’s London regional council voted to back Jon Rogers for general secretary.
The branch secretary of Unison in Lambeth, south London, is the candidate of the United Left alliance of activists in the million-strong union.
London regional council delegates held a secret ballot for the nomination. Jon Rogers won with 43 votes, while current general secretary Dave Prentis received 35. Other candidates received 14 votes.
“I very much welcome this decision,” said Jon Rogers. “It means there’s a credible left wing challenge to Dave Prentis and the cosy relationship the Unison leadership has with New Labour.”
Jon Rogers’ campaign was also boosted when Unison’s South West region voted against nominating Dave Prentis.
“While this is not a positive nomination of Jon Rogers, it is a major upset for the Prentis camp,” said Tony Staunton from Plymouth Unison. “They expected us to nominate Prentis as a matter of course.”
The London result shows that Jon Rogers has the best chance of beating Dave Prentis and that other left candidates should now withdraw.
See next week’s Socialist Worker for a full interview with Jon Rogers