Unison Backs Corbyn

corbyn

Unison has nominated Jeremy Corbyn for leader with 58% of the votes cast. That represents less than 1% of Unison’s total membership but Jezza’s campaign team are heartened that every region backed their man. Also worth giving yesterday’s much-vaunted GMB result backing Owen Smith some context. The GMB claims 631,000 members, but the low turnout means just 4.1% of those have declared in favour of Oily, compared to 2.8% backing Jez, so it was hardly the breakthrough Smith supporters were suggesting. Corbyn-backing Unite didn’t ballot their members but they did consult their policy conference of 1,000 or so rank and file members. He’s also backed by the Communication Workers Union, TSSA, ASLEF and the Bakers Union. Corbyn cleaned up with union affiliated last time…

Watson Quits Unite Lad Pad after Row With Red Len

tom len

Tom Watson has moved out of the flat he rented from a top Unite official after falling out with Len McCluskey. For years Watson has rented from Unite director Jim Mowatt – indeed he used the share the flat with Red Len a few years back. However in the last few weeks Labour’s deputy leader packed his bags and left. What caused the sudden move? It is no secret that Watson and McCluskey’s long friendship has suffered greatly during Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. McCluskey has taken a hardline pro-Corbyn stance – he is said to be in thrall to his girlfriend Karie Murphy, Watson’s former office manager who is now a top Corbynista and key aide in the leader’s office. Watson on the other hand has repeatedly tried to get Corbyn to resign, leading to a complete breakdown in his relationship with McCluskey. It looks like things got so bad that Watson had to move out of the Unite lad pad. Or perhaps Tom just decided he needed more space after renting a room in a shared house for so long. Either way, he has been living in hotels ever since…

UPDATE: Watson gets in touch to say he isn’t living in a hotel. Hope he’s found somewhere nice.

Shadow Cabinet Minister Slams “Scabs”: “They Should Expect to Be Called What They Are”

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Gobby Labour MP and Shadow Scotland Secretary Dave Anderson has written to his local paper to mouth off about “scabs” breaking the rail strike. The Newcastle Chronicle criticised Anderson for saying he wouldn’t use trains “operated by scab labour”. Anderson has now doubled down, writing:

“As long as people choose to take part in this despicable behaviour, then they should expect to be called exactly what they are and not seek any dignity by declaring themselves to be replacement or substitute workers. Scab is a hard word and it is meant to be so in order to prey on the consciences of those who would seek to prevent working people from being treated as respected partners in the workplace and not as serfs.”

Kinder, gentler politics, part 294…

Sexists For Remain

patel ROACHE

Uh oh! GMB union chief and leading Remainer Tim Roache tells his annual conference:

“Priti Patel, surely a contradiction in her name”

Think Tim should have gone to Specsavers…

BSE’s Will Straw said Tim Roache “speaks for over 600,000 working people” when he endorsed Remain back in February. Now Straw is silent. Meanwhile Harriet Harman is the big gun wheeled out for the Remain campaign today. She would be touring the studios if a Leaver had said this...

UPDATE II: Roache doubles down:

UPDATE III: BSE statement on the man they described as “fantastic” three months ago:

“Comments like this have no place in this debate.”

UPDATE IV: Tory MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan: “This abuse is a new low for the remain campaign.”

Junior Doctors: It’s All About the Money

In the words of Meja, it is all about the money:

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The FT graphic explains the negotiating positions – the government is offering more money for a 7-day NHS, the junior doctors want more still. Struggling on their not undeserved triple average earnings, their strike is not about “saving the NHS”. Who are they kidding? They are diverting taxpayers’ money from the same cash-pot that funds treatments and life-saving drugs into their pockets. They are playing on the natural sympathies of the grateful beneficiaries of their treatments.

Through all this it is important to remember this is not about “stopping the cuts”, there are none, this is not about “the NHS in crisis”. It is all about the money…

Labour’s Brave Line on Tax Dodging Donors

tax hypocrisy mcdonnell

This is a pretty brave attack line from John McDonnell over Tory party donors who may have avoided tax:

“Is the Prime Minister happy to receive money from big donors who are accused of tax avoidance?”

Especially when you consider that Labour’s biggest donor Unite paid no corporation tax in 2011 and 2012, despite earning £5.78 million from their £51.6 million investment portfolio. The GMB union paid zero corporation tax on its investment income of £1.6 million, neither did the Community union on their income of £4.1 million for the period. McDonnell himself received £3,000 from Unite in 2014. As of last year who were Labour’s biggest non-union donors? Accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, who have been slammed by the Public Accounts Committee for “promoting tax avoidance”To paraphrase, is the Shadow Chancellor happy to receive money from big donors who are accused of tax avoidance?

Red Len’s Steel Shaft

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Why are the two unions (Community and Unite) not working together for their members in the face of one of the biggest industrial crises in years? Community is the biggest union in the steel industry and Unite should be supporting them not trying to grandstand and compete for media attention. Relations have totally broken down due to Red Len’s bully boy attitude towards more moderate unions like Community – they took their Labour NEC place off them. So the steel workers are not directly represented on the Labour Party’s ruling body.

In what was described as conference victory for Jeremy Corbyn, the moderate trade union Community was replaced by the left-wing Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union. Community relied on the votes of Unite to keep them in place, votes that were not forthcoming.

The struggle takes many forms – in Wales Unite prioritises jostling for left-wing influence over the proper representation of steel workers. Up the workers!

Happy ‘I Heart Unions’ Day

Hundreds of unionised Luddites in black cabs bring Millbank, Whitehall and Parliament Square to a stand still this afternoon. Doing Uber’s marketing for them…

Corbyn Wears Sponsors’ Badge

Guido has always said that Labour MPs should wear the names of their union paymasters while they ask questions in the House, to ensure outside financial interests are always properly declared. Good to see the Labour leader agrees…[…]

+ READ MORE +

LEAK: Lansman Emails Mock “Clueless” Unite Chief

On Saturday Momentum’s 52 person National Committee convened for the first time, telling supporters that the purpose of the meeting was to elect a Steering Committee of 14 senior figures who will run the organisation. Yet in leaked emails sent the week before, Momentum chief Jon Lansman boasts that the election will be a “formality” because Steering Committee members had already been “confirmed“.[…]

+ READ MORE +

185 RMT Members Vote For Strike Affecting Half a Million

Conductors on Southern Rail have voted for strike action this morning, with the RMT union boasting that more than 70% of those balloted backed industrial action. What they didn’t mention in their press release was how many employees actually voted. Here is the breakdown:

Total Votes Cast – 255
Number Voting ‘YES’ -185
Number Voting ‘NO’ – 70

Just 185 people voted for strike action, affecting Southern Rail’s 447,000 passenger journeys per day…[…]

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Unions v Steel Industry

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The unions are demanding the government slashes energy prices and green taxes for the steel industry in response to today’s Tata announcement:

GMB: Only the UK Government acting with the EU can deal with dumping of steel and green taxes on energy prices.”

Unite: “Unite is calling on the government to support a key component of the UK economy by taking action to stop the ‘dumping’ of cheap Chinese steel, help with high energy costs and business rates and ensuring that major infrastructure projects use British steel.”

That’s the same GMB and Unite who have been campaigning for higher energy prices and green taxes…

GMB are a partner in the Trade Unions for Energy Democracy group, which lobbies for stricter regulation for fossil fuel industries.[…]

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John McDonnell Praises Spitting as a Form of Protest

Corbyn condemed the actions of the protesters spitting on delegates and journalists as unacceptable, but it appears no everyone holds the same anti-gobbing view. Just four years ago John McDonnell praised a trade unionist who spat in her manager’s tea every day:

“I always give the example of P&O when I worked for RMT, in the P&O dispute we had some real difficulties and all the rest of it – we lost, the strike was difficult and the struggle went on.  

[…]

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First Look at “Conservative Workers & Trade Unionists”

tory union site

The Tories are planning to launch ToryWorkers.co.uk at their conference next week to accompany their newly founded “Conservative Workers and Trade Unionists” movement; the site is currently blank but Guido has discovered the finished product hidden in the Google cache.[…]

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GMB’s IRA Blooper

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Guido was browsing through the GMB unions’ press release about their Acting Secretary Gary Smith’s speech at the Labour Party Conference when he spotted an entertaining mistake in the copy. It refers to the RIPA act as “PIRA”…

pira gmb

Someone has the Provos on their mind…[…]

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‘We’ve Had Enough of This Crap’: Cabbies Storm City Hall

The long-running conflict between Boris and London’s cabbie trade unionists has flared up again, with irate drivers storming City Hall to protest after being denied access to a public meeting. Numerous security staff, including young women, were injured, and one person was knocked unconscious.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Heather Wheeler talks to Burton Mail about her tweet…

“It was a tongue in cheek pop after the European Parliament tweet – it was purely that. I also wanted to congratulate Team GB on a brilliant result and thirdly congratulate the Commonwealth countries who also did very well. Fourth, I am also looking forwarded to establishing new trade agreements. That was it – nothing more. Let’s just enjoy the summer!”

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