WORKERS in one of Britain's biggest unions, the TGWU, are set to vote for a deputy general secretary. The vote is between Peter Booth, a manufacturing industry official, and Tony Woodley, the union's main car industry negotiator.
New Labour is terrified after the recent election success of several left wing union leaders. The Blairites have jumped behind Peter Booth and have put out scare stories against Tony Woodley.
The Guardian reported, 'Blair hopes the ballot in the politically important TGWU will produce a figure acceptable to the party hierarchy. The possibility of a Woodley victory has made Number Ten jittery.' At some election meetings Blairites in the union have called Tony Woodley a 'Trotskyist', even though he is no such thing. A victory for Woodley would be a blow against the Blairites.
Socialists in the TGWU should support and campaign for Woodley. However, Woodley does not have a good record of fighting. He was the union's negotiator when thousands of jobs were lost at Ford in Dagenham and Vauxhall in Luton.
That means rank and file TGWU members cannot rely on Woodley, and even if he wins they will have to continue to fight from below. The result is due on Friday 7 June.