Unite responds to Labour MP
Unite response to Jess Philips’ call for candidates to back a women’s charter
Members will know that our branch agreed to nominate Len McCluskey as General Secretary and a list of candidates for the executive including our own branch secretary, Suzanne Muna. This decision was taken after a wideranging debate at a well attended branch meeting. We would urge members to support these candidates.
It is not unusual for big business supporting media to seek to inlfuence the outcome of union elections, but in this election they have been actively supported by certain Labour politicians. Below we reporoduce a statement responding to Jess Philips. It should be noted that she appears to be unaware of the existing Unite womans charter which can be seen here.
For a response to earlier false allegations from Tom Watson MP see here.
Unfortunately this campaign against Len McCluskey was expected and the branch officers see nothing in them to cause us any concern about the decision to back Len. The Financial Times has pointed out that if Len was defeated it would change the whole dynamic of the British Labour movement, which they support. What is clear, is that they are not campaigning for a stronger "fighting back" Labour movement. I would encourage you to speak to members to encourage them to vote and answer any queries they have. If you have remaining questions feel free to ask branch officers.
Paul Kershaw, Chair Unite Housing Workers LE1111
Responding to the calls made by Jess Philips MP for candidates for the position of Unite general secretary to back a women’s charter, Unite’s acting general secretary Gail Cartmail said:
“This is another gesture of interference in our union’s democracy. Any genuine concerns Jess Philips had about the union’s women’s structures, she could have addressed constructively by picking up the phone to the Unite leadership. Instead she chose to pull a stunt in an effort to further undermine our union’s democracy.
“Our women members will not be impressed. They have worked very hard to establish structures of solidarity, in which they have huge confidence. If Jess is serious about advancing the place of women in our union, she would do better to hold out the hand of friendship, and work with and not against her union.
“Jess Philips may also be called to answer to our car industry members for a stunt that distracted from their conference held in defence of jobs and investment."