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Challenge to UNISON'S Labour links by UNISON general secretary candidate
UNISON's forthcoming General Secretary election will see a clear challenge to the union's links with the Labour Party given the announcement that North West NEC member Roger Bannister has secured sufficient branch nominations to contest the election.
- Roger Bannister opposes continued Labour Party affiliation, and has pledged to ballot the members on this issue should he be elected as General Secretary.
- Secretary of the union's Knowsley Branch on Merseyside, Roger Bannister has a long record of trade union militancy, including leading strikes that have secured agreements to reduce working time to 35 hours for local government and other workers.
- He has stood twice before for the general secretary position.
- Roger got 32% of the vote in 2000. At one time it was thought that he would beat the eventual victor Dave Prentis, who was at that time deputy general secretary of the union.
- He also proposed the item at this year's Local Government Service Group Conference of UNISON which has set the union on a collision course with the Government over attacks on the local government pension scheme.
On hearing of his success in the nomination process, Roger Bannister said:
"It is great news for UNISON members that they will have the opportunity to show their opposition to wasting millions of pounds of members' money on the Labour Party in this election.
"The other candidates are both Labour Party members who wish to see the status quo continue.
In The Socialist 11 December 2004:
Socialist Party campaigns
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news