THE CAMPAIGN to elect the next general secretary of the TGWU union upped tempo last weekend. Barry Camfield launched his campaign to replace Bill Morris at a 180-strong rally in London.
Ex general secretary Ron Todd, London mayor Ken Livingstone and John Cryer MP all addressed the rally. He is centring his campaign on rebuilding shop stewards' organisation, repealing the anti trade union laws, fighting for equality for women and black people and 'winning the Labour Party back for peace and socialism'.
Another candidate in the election is Tony Woodley, deputy general secretary. Woodley addressed the 15,000-strong anti-war demo in Manchester last Saturday: 'Tony Blair talks of paying a blood price. The people who will pay that price are the tens of thousands who will die in this war. They are signing the death warrants of those people in our name. We have to say this war is not in our name.'
Both Camfield and Woodley are standing as left wing candidates. Another candidate, Jack Dromey, is widely thought of as more in line with New Labour policies. There is a danger that having two left candidates could split the left vote and allow Dromey to get elected.
Nominations close on 23 April and voting takes place in May. It would be much better for the union if the left could concentrate its forces behind one candidate.