A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Monday, May 21, 2007

USDAW backs Blears

The executive of Labour's 5th largest affiliate, shop workers' union USDAW, has voted unanimously to nominate Hazel Blears for Deputy Leader.

USDAW is nowadays almost as powerful as the once far bigger GMB and TGWU section of Unite within the Labour Party - with just over 323,000 members affiliated compared to 400,000 each for them.

Total affiliations listed in the TULO handbook are:

Amicus 630,100
UNISON 500,000
GMB 400,000
TGWU 400,000
USDAW 323,652
CWU 210,000
Community 55,246
UCATT 51,000
TSSA 27,653
ASLEF 15,500
MU 10,500
BECTU 7,310
BFAWU 5,100
NUM 1,813
Unity 1,000


Anonymous terry said...

If I hear anymore about that fucking elf woman, I will eat my own leg

9:33 pm, May 21, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

You'd better buy a sharp knife and fork then.

9:45 pm, May 21, 2007

Anonymous Definitely not bullying Hazel said...

Are they funding her campaign? I heard she got her money from a Salford businessman. But good for her (re: the USDAW nomination, not the business money!). The unions are the backbone of our movement and I'm fed up with people poo-pooing them all the time. Although I would be interested in hearing Hazel speak about what she wants to see the government doing to improve union rights / the lot of USDAW members. Perhaps I'll get a chance at a hustings. Is she supporting the Trade Union Freedom Bill (OTT name, reasonable content)?

10:48 pm, May 21, 2007

Blogger Chris Paul said...

You're not suggesting that all Usdaw's members will now vote Blears are you? It's OMOV. And if reports are to be believed Brown will now see no reason to help shop workers .... aaaaargh.

11:02 pm, May 21, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Yes USDAW are going to help fund her campaign. I don't know about her stance on the TU Freedom Bill, maybe someone from the campaign can post a response here? Chris, I'm well aware that it's OMOV ...

7:44 am, May 22, 2007

Blogger grimupnorth said...

I would eat my leg if Hazel backed the Trade Union Freedom Bill.She is not exactly a renowned McDonnell supporter.

8:21 am, May 22, 2007

Anonymous Poor J Mc D said...

Why? Does voting for the TU Freedom Bill come with the condition that you have to be a McDonnell supporter? It's not going to get very far in Parliament then is it!!

8:27 am, May 22, 2007

Blogger HenryG said...

Thanks for this list Luke. Do you put the relative small size of the GMBs affiliation down to their financial difficulties?

10:29 am, May 22, 2007

Anonymous a gmb rep said...

henryg - GMB has a higher RATE of affiliation (though it's lower than I would have thought) at 400,000 out of about 700,000 members than does UNISON with 500,000 out of 1,300,000 members. Someone can probably do the calculations with T&G and Amicus too.

Fact is the GMB isn't as big as it was due to collapse in its strength areas of heavy industry and manufacturing. Nowadays it seems that we're trying to move into new sectors such as security guards, drivers, low paid migrant workers etc in order to arrest the slump. Membership's actually on the up again in London region though I doubt it is across the country.

2:30 pm, May 22, 2007

Blogger HenryG said...

Thanks A GMB Rep. I always thought that Amicus and GMB had high rates of affiliation to give them most political clout. The TGWU were always more industrial focused. I was still a little surprised they had only 400000 affiliated, but as you say the decline in manafucturing has hit a number of unions very hard and overall membership must be down. Glad it's picking up in London though.

2:51 pm, May 22, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Some UNISON members are of course not eligible as they are not part of the Affiliated Political Fund - former NALGO members who are politically neutral as they are local govt civil servants.

4:34 pm, May 22, 2007

Anonymous a gmb rep said...


Are you saying that certain UNISON members aren't entitled to affiliate even if they want to?

4:53 pm, May 22, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

No - I believe they can pick and choose whether to opt in to the APF/"Labour Link" but that many historic NALGO members stayed in the non-affiliated Political Fund because that was the tradition of their union. So the UNISON members who will vote in the DL election are many times more likely to be from what were historically NUPE and COHSE - i.e. health workers will have a disproportionate influence. Happy to be corrected by any UNISON members if I've got this wrong.

5:26 pm, May 22, 2007

Blogger John Gray said...

No, that's right Luke. UNISON Labour Link committee will decide 31 May on recommendation (everyone will have a secret ballot) after they have seen the candidates at the TULO husting.

8:40 pm, May 22, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

UsDaw bad younion they lowe Pick Rates pro managment

8:52 pm, March 14, 2010


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