Letter No 39  by Mike Allott:  email | back to directory
 

 
Policy problems for Labour and Tories
 
If we are to engage in a proper debate on Labour's future then Hazel Blears' plea to respect our "lineage and traditions" can only shackle fresh thinking. When she says "our union links are not up for grabs" she distorts modern-day reality. Of the 62 unions affiliated to the TUC only 18 are affiliated to Labour. Of these, Amicus and the TGWU are now about to merge to form a single super-union, with 2 million members, representing almost one-third of the total unionised workforce (and the lion's share of the Labour-affiliated members). Moreover, the leaders of Amicus and the TGWU, in their support of John Cruddas, are now seeking to reverse some of the main reforms in the party manifesto.

Union enlargement will hopefully bring considerable practical benefits to the members; but the successful amalgamation of workers with varying skills and backgrounds also means a super-union will surely have to adopt a less partisan political approach, reflecting the wider membership

Mike Allott
Eastleigh, Hampshire

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This article appeared on p35 of the Main section section of the Guardian on . It was published on guardian.co.uk at