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80,000 votes are not going away: Unite Fight Back: 'We are the left in Unite' Join us.

28 May 2013

In stark contrast to our campaign, Len McCluskey’s included ‘red baiting’ lies and innuendo. One of his chief supporters and senior full time appointed officials tweeted a disgusting, perhaps even a libel against me. When all this happened it meant that they had, at that very point relinquished any claim to be on the left, if you ‘red bait’ then you are after the right wing vote. I say that at that point and there after, we became the left in Unite.

In the weeks following our incredible election result I have attended a series of meetings around the country from Plymouth to Glasgow and Towns/City’s in between. All to discuss and decide………………What next in Unite.

This came together on Saturday [May 25th] where our supporters agreed to:

Establish a group/network of members in Unite, which will initially be called “Unite Fight Back". For what it’s worth my preferred name is ‘Grassroots in Unite’ – a ‘Rank & File organisation’

The initial policies for Unite Fight Back will be those contained in our election materials, especially our election address to all members.

Membership will cost £5 a year - and will be open to all, but not to union full time officers.

The aim is to encourage the development of solidarity networks throughout Unite both regionally and in sectors. With the objective to have a Rank & File similar to that already in construction in as many sectors as possible, with a view to developing solidarity in struggle.

Unite Fight Back will be orientated on the workplace, developing political campaigns and solidarity. We will also campaign to improve UNITE policies and rules. We may also support credible candidates with good policies for office within UNITE, but do not see this as our central function.

A steering group was elected pro-temp to oversee things until the September National meeting. [The inaugural AGM]

A meeting will be held in September 2013 [effectively an inaugural AGM], after other meetings have taken place around the country to further discuss the direction, policies and principles of Unite Fight Back. At the Septenber meeting reports, resolutions and elections will take place. [A reminder! my preferred name is ‘Grassroots in Unite’ – a ‘Rank & File organisation’

We also welcome and support the development of such networks across unions,

More details to follow, including a website and stuff in the meantime please check out ‘Unite Fight Back’ on facebook or unitethefightback,

Its ‘business as usual’ after the Unite General Secretary election

Wholesale branch closures in London and Eastern region are underway. Up to 100 Branch Secretaries got letters in the post a few weeks ago, informing them of their branch closure, and that the branch bank account had been frozen.

This was the first they had heard meaning there had been no consultation whatsoever.  This outrageous, undemocratic, is almost certainly out of rule. A meeting in Chelmsford, at short notice brought together over 30 branch officials who decided a fight back strategy including a lobby the next NEC. Vote for Ian Bradley and Lesley Mansell who support branch reorganisation only after consultation and agreement! See below.

NEC Elections:Two NEC seats have become vacant [one due to yet another appointment of an official].

There is no time to waste as the election process has already begun, we are a couple of weeks in to the nomination process. If you have still to nominate please consider these two for your nomination/s.

Ian Bradley for the London and Eastern Regional seat:

Nomination details required are: Branch- London and Eastern construction LE/0555

Membership Number 20034584

Please contact Ian Bradley for more details


Lesley Mansell for - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) seat

Nomination details required are: Bristol NHS Branch [Health sector]
Membership number: 30052814 
Region: South West:

 A message from Lesley:.............................
Hi, I am contacting you as I am seeking your nomination for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) seat on the Unite NEC. I find it very disappointing to hear that the current LGBT member has resigned after such a short period of time.
I standing on behalf of the Grass Roots Left as I firmly believe that Unite must be a member led, member controlled organisation, free from the control of appointed officials. Our union can never be truly democratic until all full time officials are elected by us, the members and accountable to us the members.  

I have a long track record in fighting for and winning rights for LGBT members, I was a founder member in 1989 of Lesbians and Gays in MSF and led the campaign to repeal the obnoxious Section 28, fought for equal rights at work .I was also a founder member of the TUC LGBT committee and campaigned to include bisexual and trans people in this work. In 2005 the TUC awarded me the prestigious Gold badge for this work. 

While it is now unlawful to discriminate against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) people at work and we must have access to goods and services as everyone else we have these legal rights because many of us stood up and fought for them over a period of many years. We have won these rights due to the support of the Labour and Trade union movement. 

During the last election campaign I was contacted by many Unite LGBT members who told me of the difficulties they are having at work due to their sexual orientation or because of their gender identity. Sadly there is still a huge need to stand up and defend our members at work. 

Unite must become a fighting union, not just a campaigning union, actively supporting all our members in struggle, revitalising branches and increasing our lay democracy. Above all we need to make our equality structure a model for genuine involvement of LGBT members and other equality groups as well. 

I work in the NHS as an Equality Manager and have held similar roles in Councils, Education and the Voluntary Sector. I started my trade union activity as a convenor in engineering. I am a Labour party member. 
Vote for Lesley Mansell the experienced and reliable candidate and vote for:

·  A member led member controlled,  democratic union.
· Officers elected by you the members, not appointed by the General Secretary or a panel.
· Confronting anti-union and other unjust laws in the UK and EU.
· A fighting union, not just a campaigning one.
For more information do contact me at: Tel: 07980 695117
In solidarity, Lesley Mansell.

I am away now for a few weeks, but rest assured I will 'Keep on keeping on' 
Regards & Solidarity,


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