Branch Secretary :

Offering Unite a Political Choice - Support Our Motion!

The Unite Housing Workers Branch wants to give Unite greater political choice. Currently Unite is affiliated to the Labour Party. As well as helping to fund Labour, this means that we are only allowed to support Labour Party candidates in council, general, or European elections. This support includes donations and support in kind, such as canvassing and leafleting on behalf of the candidate.


In July, Unite delegates will gather in Brighton to consider changes to the rule book, and we are seeking to use this opportunity to change our union's rules so that we are able to support any candidate whose programme is consistent with Unite policy - whether they are standing on behalf of Labour, another political party, or as an independent.


Each branch  and various union committees were allowed to submit one rule change each. We submitted the following rule change which was democratically agreed by members at the branch meeting in January 2015:


2.1.5 To further political objectives including by affiliation to the Labour Party.




2.1.5 To further political objectives including by support for candidates in local, general and European elections whose manifesto is aligned to Unite objectives or policy.


We are asking members to give further support by signing up to this motion. Please do so by adding your name to the 'Post a Comment' box below.


Please sign now!


Comments :

I support the Unite 1111 Housing Workers Branch proposed rule change

By darren on 2015-05-01 20:21:41

I support this rule change

By Caroline on 2015-05-01 21:11:59

I hate Labour

By tajamal shah on 2015-05-01 21:22:02


By MOHSHIN on 2015-05-02 01:29:33

As Labour & Milliband move the Labour Party further to the right supporting neo liberal policies, cut backs and austerity measures it is important that we as trade unionist have the right and opportunity to vote for whatever candidate we as individual members deem to be in the interest of working class , the labour & trade union movement for a more just and egalitarian, democratic & socialist society

By Nigel Singh on 2015-05-01 20:19:42

I support this rule change.

By Suzanne Muna on 2015-05-01 20:07:04

I want to see the millions of pounds we spend on Labour being used for US not for a party that is saying it will be 'tougher' on welfare or like here in Southwark leading the table of social cleansing. Of 50,000 people shipped out of london, in a three month period, Southwark topped the list. I want to see candidates from our membership, who are actively fighting cuts and for decent jobs, homes and services.

By Arti on 2015-05-02 07:55:32

I'm not happy with the idea that just because we are members of unite we are all expected to support and vote for labour , who have done nothing to repeal the anti trade union. We should have the right to support other party's who are pro trade union with real socialist values

By Jimmy tyson on 2015-05-02 08:23:42

Allow Unite members to support election candidates who support Unite Policies.

By Keith Hallam on 2015-05-02 09:40:27

By Glyn Robbins on 2015-05-02 10:29:29

I support the motion. As union members we should be able to support any political candidates who are aligned to Unite policy.

By Jon Hughes on 2015-05-02 15:51:29

Why do we continue to throw members money at a party that fights against us. Time to build a mass workers party of the left and put an end to this lunacy. Invest in TUSC and move the workers cause forward.

By Joanne Harris on 2015-05-02 18:21:20

We should be able to back candidates that support unite policy. Not back a party that kicks out unite members when they follow unites policy's.

By Declan Khan on 2015-05-06 11:52:12

I fully support this motion.

By Mayola Blagdon on 2015-05-08 07:21:34

Allow Unite members to support election candidates who support Unite Policies. I fully support this proposed rule change.

By john clegg on 2015-05-08 17:41:06

I support this motion. I think it has become clear that if we are going to fight auterity conservative we need a party that is actually opposed to austerity; we need our own political voice. There is a real paralell with the period when unions supported the Liberals. The argument was that they 'listened' to us. But our movement drew the conclusion that we needed a voice independent of business. Who could argue that Labour is that voice now? Paul Kershaw, Chair LE1111

By Paul Kershaw on 2015-05-08 18:20:55

Time to change before we're all bled dry.

By Vanessa.Doidge on 2015-05-08 18:47:37

TUSC are the only party the left wing can now truly identify or support.

By Jayne on 2015-05-09 12:35:02

I support this motion. With the money from our members we could help to build a strong party oppossed to austerity, instead of propping up a party which has proved to be beyond redemption.

By david spencer on 2015-05-09 12:45:36

Our branch has also submitted a motion on democratising the political committees of the Union to include non Labour Party members an input. I support the Housing motion as well

By Martyn Ahmet on 2015-05-09 14:17:35

Here is the text of the motion submitted by Bristol Finance & Legal Branch: 22.1 There shall be Regional and National Political Committees composed of elected branch political officers and delegates from the Regional and National Industrial Sectors and Regional Committee to co-ordinate the Union’s political work, acting under the direction of the Executive Council. 22.5 All Branch Political Officers together with representatives from the Regional Industrial Sector Committees, Area Activist Committees and the Regional Committee, shall be entitled to attend triennial Regional Political Conferences. The Regional Political Conferences shall elect Regional Political Committees. Retired members who conform with Rule 10.8 and community members who confirm with rule 3.3 are eligible to stand for election for Regional Political Committees. The size and composition of the Regional Political Committees shall be determined by the Executive Council from time to time.

By Martyn Ahmet on 2015-05-09 14:22:54

The branch has benefited much from Unite's affiliation to the Labour Party in recent disputes. St Mungos Executives were completely set back by open support for the union side by Labour elected officials. Early day motions in parliament by Labour MP's, invitations to the House of Commons, open criticism for the management position in the press by Hackney and Islington Labour Councillors greatly strengthened our bargaining position. At One Housing the branch gained an emergency motion of support from all 54 Councillors from Islington and also personal visits from London Labour Assembly Members to picket lines. As such it is difficult to see how disaffiliation from the Labour Party would be beneficial to the branch. It is important that trade unions affiliate collectively to Labour. Our members are not a random collection of consumers in a free market. We are mostly local government contractors, or regulated (albeit loosely) by Central Government, and need access to elected officials whether in government or opposition to present our case that the market is failing in our sector. To break with what is the only large elected voice of the working class does not only loosen our members links to decision making forums but also weakens the Labour Party, the only credible opposition to our Neo-Liberalist Tory government, and my condemn us to Tory rule, not just for the next 5 years, but for a generation. Affiliation to the Labour Party, the TUC, as well as the Branch's local affiliations to campaigning organisations such as the NSSN or local Anti Cuts groups are direct expressions of our solidarity with the anti austerity movement and show our stated purpose of maintaining and strengthening workers rights. The Labour link is a declaration of our union’s left orientated identity and we should fight to maintain it. I don't support the motion. For those who agree to support in principle the broad aims Labour policy and would like to vote in the selection of Labour leader and candidate for London Mayor (you don't have to be a member of the Labour Party), you can do so by clicking the following link

By Bryan Kennedy on 2015-05-09 16:27:13

Can't stay in a union that refuses to listen to our views and continues to support labour and austerity. Will see how things go over the next month then may have to say enough is enough

By Tracey brown on 2015-05-10 00:14:48

Time to back candidates that back us.

By Nancy Taaffe on 2015-05-11 15:50:15

I support this motion

By Michael on 2015-05-14 23:09:25

I support this rule change. The Labour Party in Bromley have been very supportive to us during our ongoing strike action. They have been on our picket lines and issued a statement in total support of the strike and anti privatisation. they made all relevant arguments against the Tories in Bromley march to the bottom with all services up for privatisation and the attack on Trade Unions with the stopping of T.U facility time. While an arm of Labour controlled Greenwich Council is the preferred bidder in the sell off our Bromley's Transport Services. It makes sense we support politicians that support us.

By Kathy Smith on 2015-05-16 06:52:01


Before Posting

We welcome debate and discussion on our website, but we also want an open, respectful, inclusive space in which forms of abuse or personal attack will not be tolerated. Comments will be moderated and will be removed if they are found to be unduly offensive. You should also be very careful in posting information about your employer. Employers do visit the website and if you think a comment could get you into trouble for releasing confidential or sensitive information, or for bringing the employer into disrepute, please do not post it. It remains your individual responsibility to ensure that what you post is appropriate. Please therefore just give a moment's thought to what you are saying. The types of comments that are likely to be moderated are:

  • Personal abuse or attacks on an individual.
  • Information which breaches another person's right to confidentiality.
  • The use of offensive language, including swear words, or language which is racist, sexist, or otherwise breaches equalities standards.
  • Anything that might place the Branch or the wider union in legal jeopardy.
  • Adverts or information which is posted for commercial gain.

* Name
* Email (will not be published)
* field is required