AROUND 100 people attended a hustings for London mayor organised by the GMB union Heathrow airport last week. All three of the Labour candidates – Frank Dobson, Glenda Jackson and Ken Livingstone – turned up. Each spoke for about ten minutes, then faced questions. “What is the difference between the 1994 party conference when Labour said, ‘Our air is not for sale’, and now?” asked one worker to much applause. “Shouldn’t the level of the minimum wage go up if we are to see a fairer society?” also won applause. Frank Dobson argued, “Sky Chefs wouldn’t have happened under this Labour government’s new laws.”
But a GMB member in the audience replied, “They would have been sacked after two months, not after one day. That’s the only difference.” This received approval from around the room, including from a group of sacked Sky Chefs workers who were attending the meeting.
A judge at the high court in London last week backed the Labour Party’s decision to deny MSF union members in London the right to vote for the party’s mayoral candidate. Lord Justice Parker ruled that six London MSF members were not entitled to bring the case. The evidence of MSF leader Roger Lyons was crucial to ensuring the Labour Party won.
MSF union members, and those in the RMT and ASLEF rail unions who were also banned from voting on the same grounds of late payment of subscriptions, will still be denied democracy. The six MSF members now have to pay costs of 19,000.
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