"You may say that I am a dreamer/But I am not the only one" John Lennon: "Imagine"

"So come brothers and sisters/For the struggle carries on" Billy Bragg: "The Internationale"

Elizannie has a reading room at 'Clarice's Book Page' http://www.villiersroad.blogspot.com/

Monday, 22 November 2010

Welcome to Len McCluskey

The ballot for the new General Secretary of the UNITE union has now closed and the result will be announced officially on Wednesday [24th November] Unofficially the media are announcing that Len McCluskey has won by a clear majority and there is a good piece on Ian's UNITE Site: http://www.iansunitesite.org.uk/

All four candidates, when contacted by Other Half and I during the balloting process, were very keen to answer questions. This was very reassuring, unlike our experience during the General Election when we did not have the same 'luck' with the prospective parliamentary candidates in our area [looking in the direction of the Conservative Candidate here...] However what is really disappointing is that it appears that only 16% of the membership voted.

My connection with the union goes back an awful long way and through many different chamges of General Secretaries and union amalgamations.

1. It all started with DATA*

2. In 1970 DATA became TASS** within the AUEW under the General Secretaryship of the wonderful Ken Gill.

3. In 1988 TASS merged with ASTMS*** to form MSF^ under the iconic Clive Jenkins and Ken Gill, then Ken Gill solely when Clive suddenly resigned.

4. MSF merged with the AEEU^^ to form AMICUS^^^ in 2001 with the General Secretaries Ken Jackson and Roger Lyons

5. AMICUS in turn merged with the Transport & General Union to form UNITE under Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson in 2007.

So many initials and so many wonderful General Secretaries who have represented us over the years. A few tears at the memories, I must admit! And thinking of all those who have helped me and so many friends, family and comrades too - not just in wage deals but over terms and conditions of employment and UNITE are still helping. In so many ways my first loyalty will always be to the Union movement even over and above the Labour movement - after all the Union movement was one of the 'midwives' at the birth of the Labour Party!

So welcome to the the position of General Secretary, Len McCluskey. Lots of proud names and initials to follow!

Photograph of MSF union banner, Tolpuddle Rally, early 1990s.
To go to the UNITE website, click on blog title
Obituary of Ken Gill in the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/may/24/ken-gill-unions-obituary

* Draughtsmen and Allied Technicians Association
** Technical, Administrative and Supervisory Staffs
*** Association of Scientific, Technical and Managerial Staffs
^ Management, Scientific and Finance union
^^ Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union
^^^ From the Latin meaning: friend, comrade

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