Power grab in the Unite election?

Retired members in the former Amicus side of Unite are up in arms after Unite’s executive council voted at their meeting this month to exclude them from regional council elections – and, from what I can tell, the general secretary election too.

This could have a profound impact on the outcome of the election, due to take place after that other election you may have heard about.

Retired members from the former T&G side of Unite do not have a vote; so in depriving the Amicus members, the executive was harmonising the two sides as the merger process rolls on and the union slims down its structures.

But some people are unhappy that they didn’t decide to just give the T&G side a vote. Actually, unhappy is probably an understatement: one has spoken of the union “taking our money and then crapping on us from a great height”. The counter-argument is that with the GS election and the regional elections coming up, there wasn’t time.

Anyway, what does it mean? Well, if retired members were to vote along membership lines, i.e. for a candidate for the Amicus side, as some no doubt will, then taking their votes away puts those candidates at a disadvantage to the T&G candidate, Len McCluskey, supported by Tony Woodley. It would also hamstring any candidate who’s been campaigning among retired members.

It may be a coincidence, but I am told that Woodley supported this decision.

This one will probably run and run…


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