The biggest union in Britain and Ireland, Unite, has today (Tuesday 4 December) confirmed that it will hold an election for the post of general secretary early in 2013.
The union's Executive Council voted today to bring forward the election from 2015 to avoid any clash with the UK general election which will also be held in that year.
In a statement confirming the election, the Executive Council said: "The Executive Council welcomes the progress towards creating a common Unite constitution, structure and culture over the last two years, and believes that the benefits of those are starting to be felt throughout the union and wider labour movement.
"With a devastating economic crisis still unfolding, the need throughout the movement for clear and purposeful leadership will be of continuing importance. Unite's own further integration and development would also be enhanced by clarity and stability regarding the union's leadership over the next period.
"The executive also noted that rule 15.2 mandates that the next general secretary election will take place in 2015, at the same time as the general election itself is scheduled. Any outcome of the general election will certainly raise important issues for Unite and its membership, in particular in relation to our political strategy and our links with the Labour party, requiring strong leadership at the time. It will be no time for a vacuum such as would inevitably be the consequence of a general secretary election campaign at the same time.
"In light of these considerations, the Executive Council resolves to hold an election for the post of Unite general secretary as soon as practicable."
A timetable for the election process has yet to be agreed by the executive.
The incumbent general secretary, Len McCluskey, was elected to the post of general secretary in 2010.
For more information please contact the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065.
Notes to editors:
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The union’s general secretary is Len McCluskey.