SOME 850,000 members of the Transport and General Workers Union, the TGWU, received ballot papers last week. The TGWU is voting for a new general secretary to replace Bill Morris. Socialist Worker is urging its readers to vote for Tony Woodley, the deputy general secretary.
Downing Street is reported to be worried about having another left wing critic elected to lead a major union. Union insiders say Tony Woodley has the most branch nominations. Woodley has addressed anti-war demos. He is 'extremely disappointed' with Blair's New Labour, which is 'far too firmly wedded to big business and to the middle classes'.
Next in the race for nominations is another left winger, Barry Camfield. Camfield has spoken out against the war and for the restoration of workers' right to take secondary action.
Jack Dromey, the candidate most closely associated with the Labour Party leadership, is trailing in third place. There is still a danger that Dromey could win the election because the left vote will be divided between two candidates.
Woodley best reflects ordinary members' opposition to New Labour. The key for expressing this anger is building rank and file organisation through campaigns over low pay, privatisation and fighting against job cuts. Woodley won the election for deputy general secretary last year despite winning fewer branch nominations than his rival.