Branch Secretary :

Housing workers support Sharon Graham for General Secretary


Ballot papers go out from July 5th


The letter below from our branch secretary Jack sets out why our branch supports Sharon Graham in the General Secretary election.


Sharon Graham


No Ballot Paper? No Worries!


Ballot were posted from Monday July 5th. If you didn't receive your paper or have lost it, you can get a replacement. Contact the ballot enquiry service by e-mail via or by phone: 0800 783 3856.


Dear Member


You will shortly receive a ballot paper for the General Secretary election. We are often tempted to set aside such letters, not seeing their immediate relevance. But in this case, casting your vote is more important than ever. There is no continuity option in this election. Our union will be changing whichever of the three candidates wins. Our branch discussed the candidates at the June hustings and overwhelmingly concluded that Sharon Graham offers us the best opportunity of a branch that works for us, recognising all the different sectors and regions where we have members. There are lots of good reasons to vote for Sharon, but here’s our top three:


The Best Workplace Support


Sharon has decisively won twelve major workplace campaigns. If elected, she will ramp up resource to defend jobs, fight cuts and protect pay. The resource will not be held inside union structures, but will go directly to the workplace. Our branch has often suffered from the regional and sectoral silos that make it difficult to build effective campaigns across the country. We struggle to bring together housing workers in construction, health, social care, IT, central and local government, and related industries. We need to break down these dividing barriers and centralized power in the workplace so that we can effectively coordinate our efforts to maximise our strength.


The Best Member Democracy


Sharon will set up a democracy commission to make lay member democracy a critical objective, build our base and power, and increase engagement. Unite says that it is member-led, but our committee structures were established on Unite’s formation. The committees rely on shrinking group of reps with lots of facility time and an ability to travel. They have not kept up with the changing face of our workplaces, and increasingly shutout those who know most about what our members need. Sharon’s democracy commission will refresh our structures, and make sure they are properly resourced to give effective democratic representation.


The Strongest Political Voice


To fight the worst excesses of modern capitalism we must do the painstaking work of building our forces. We must be more than policy proposals and demands. We should put our members ‘interests first. We must actively build from the ground up. There are no shortcuts. Our political strategy has been determined largely by those who are also Labour Party activists, and many outside this band have felt excluded. It has not delivered a strong, independent voice for workers on the big political questions of the day–Brexit and employment rights for example. We have sometimes acted as enabler to the council cuts that continue to devastate communities. A new political voice is needed, and Sharon’s strategy is best placed to deliver it. Sharon will only allow support for political candidates who oppose cuts to Unite members’ jobs and services, and councils and councillors who fight against them.


Jack Jeffery


Please cast your vote for Sharon as soon as you receive your ballot. Encourage other Unite members to do likewise. Join our branch meeting at 6pm on Tuesday 13th July, where you can meet, hear, and question Sharon (Zoom details to follow).


Jack Jeffery Unite housing workers branch secretary on behalf of the branch committee.


See Sharon’s campaign website here



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