Socialist Worker


A wall comes crashing down

27 July 2002
A GREAT crash shook the British labour movement last week-one that sounded almost like the fall of the Berlin Wall back in November 1989. Derek Simpson's election as general secretary of the engineering and electrical section of the giant Amicus union is more than the latest in a series of left wing union victories.

The unthinkable has happened

27 July 2002
SIR KEN Jackson's humiliation at the hands of little known left winger Derek Simpson has sent shockwaves through the political establishment. Simpson beat Jackson, the present general secretary, in the Amicus-AEEU union election.

The week that politics changed

27 July 2002
"A DEFINING moment in the history of the labour movement." That is how the bosses' Financial Times described the shock defeat of Tony Blair's closest trade union ally, Sir Ken Jackson of Amicus. Jackson was finally forced to concede victory to his left wing opponent Derek Simpson last week.

Earthquake hits Blair's union boss

20 July 2002
THE FUTURE of Tony Blair's favourite union general secretary hung in the balance this week. On the first count of votes Sir Ken Jackson was in front of the left challenger, Derek Simpson, by 89,300 to 88,500 for the leadership of the giant Amicus engineering, electrical and manufacturing union. But a recount then put Derek Simpson ahead. Further recounts were taking place as Socialist Worker went to press.

Tip right upside down

06 July 2002
SUPPORT FOR the left wing candidate in the AEEU-Amicus union leadership election is growing as the contest enters its last week. The ballot ends on Friday of next week. Derek Simpson is the left wing challenger to Ken Jackson. His challenge has already provoked an alarmed response from New Labour.


29 June 2002
SUPPORTERS of Derek Simpson, the left challenger for the leadership of the AEEU section of the Amicus union, have campaigned vigorously this week. The ballot for the AEEU leadership started on Monday of this week, and closes on 12 July.

Blair's man in unions faces left challenge

22 June 2002
AN ELECTION begins on Monday whose result is important for every trade unionist in Britain. The vote is for the leader of one of Britain's key unions. And at stake is the fate of Tony Blair's key ally in the trade union movement. Over 700,000 members of the AEEU section of the Amicus union are voting for their general secretary.

"We should be making a noise for our issues"

15 June 2002
A KEY New Labour policy was roundly attacked at the conference of the MSF section of the Amicus union that began in Blackpool last weekend. Amicus is Britain's second biggest union. It was created this year after the merger of the MSF and AEEU unions.

Campaign for change

15 June 2002
DEREK SIMPSON, the left challenger to Sir Ken Jackson in the election for AEEU union leader, spoke to over 70 delegates at a fringe meeting before the start of MSF conference. "Whoever wins the election will be the general secretary of the whole Amicus union," he said.

Seize this chance to dump the right

08 June 2002
THE ELECTION for the leadership of Britain's second biggest union will start in less than three weeks. There is a fierce battle for the leadership of the AEEU section of the million-strong Amicus union. It was created this year after the AEEU merged with the MSF union.


01 June 2002
THE VOTE which could oust Blair's favourite union leader, Sir Ken Jackson, from the head of the AEEU section of the Amicus union will start on 24 June. Jackson faces a serious challenge from left candidate Derek Simpson who gained over 100 nominations. These include factories like Ford, Vauxhall, Nissan and Rover.

Simpson gets 90 nominations

27 April 2002
THE LEFT wing challenger to Sir Ken Jackson in the leadership election for the AEEU section of the Amicus union has already notched up 90 nominations from union branches. Derek Simpson is challenging Blair's favourite union leader Sir Ken Jackson to become joint leader of Amicus, Britain's second biggest union.

Friends fall out

20 April 2002
TONY BLAIR'S favourite right wing trade union leader, Sir Ken Jackson of Amicus, threatened to disaffiliate the union from the TUC last week. A leaked letter has revealed that this has caused a massive row between the AEEU and MSF sections of the merged Amicus union.

AEEU/Amicus: Derek Simpson's campaign

06 April 2002
The media has already begun scare stories around the election challenge to the leader of the AEEU section of the Amicus union, Sir Ken Jackson. The Daily Mail described last week how Blair's favourite union leader, "ultra-loyal Sir Ken Jackson", was being taken on by the "militant hardliner" Derek Simpson.

Amicus elections

23 March 2002
"I THINK there is a mood of change in the country." So said Derek Simpson, who is challenging Blair's favourite union leader, Ken Jackson, for general secretary of Amicus. Derek came to the Socialist Alliance's trade union conference to speak to members of Amicus, a union made up of the old AEEU and MSF.


16 March 2002
SIR KEN Jackson, Tony Blair's favourite union leader and arch right winger, is being forced to fight an election for general secretary for the first time in seven years. "It's like a thunderbolt for Ken Jackson to be challenged by anyone to the left of him," says Willie Black, a member of the AEEU section of Amicus.

Car workers

02 March 2002
Thousands of workers at the Longbridge MG Rover car plant in Birmingham are balloting on strike action. Both the TGWU and Amicus unions have agreed to ballot their members in a fight over bosses' attempts to get workers to accept more "flexible" working arrangements.

Friends of who?

12 January 2002
LEADERS OF the new AMICUS union have shown their intention just days into the union's launch with their disastrous sell-out of Scottish Power strikers. The joint general secretaries, Ken Jackson from the AEEU and Roger Lyons from the MSF, have long fought to create a right wing bloc of support for New Labour inside the trade union movement.

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