Members of Unite, the country’s largest union, have given a ringing endorsement to the continuation of the union’s political fund which is used to campaign on issues ranging from the NHS, jobs and the economy to social security and rights at work.
Every 10 years, trade unions are required by law to put the continuation of the fund to the vote of the membership – and this time, Unite’s members voted by even greater margin to retain the fund than a decade ago.
The fund – which is completely separate from financial support that Unite gives to the Labour party – gives a legal underpinning to the union’s broad campaigning work for economic and social justice across the UK.
The result announced today (Friday 24 May) showed that Unite members voted by a margin of 87.4 per cent in favour of retaining the fund, compared with the vote of Unite’s predecessor unions which saw the Transport & General Workers’ Union vote by 75 per cent, Amicus by 71 per cent and the GPMU by 67 per cent in favour of the fund a decade ago.
Unite’s general secretary Len McCluskey said: “The increased vote in favour of the Unite political fund is a vindication of the union’s policy in campaigning against the callous austerity policies peddled by this government that have brought misery to millions of decent people.
“Despite the torrent of anti-union rhetoric from ministers and the media, our members, in a democratic and legal ballot, recognised the need for a distinct political fund to campaign for the broad range of issues they and their families care about.
“This vote has given us a new mandate to campaign on such diverse issues as winning the battle against police staff privatisation and fighting for laws to protect workers from exploitation in food and agriculture, as well as waging a sustained campaign against the accelerating privatisation of the NHS.”
For further information please contact Unite’s head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 07967 665 869 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- The full scrutineers' report will be published on the Unite website at a later date
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.