Model motion to encourage trade unionists to stand

With the vacuum of working-class political representation so thoroughly revealed by recent events – but also the absence of a clear answer to this from most trade union leaders – the TUSC steering committee has agreed to promote a model motion to encourage trade unionists to stand themselves as candidates in this year’s elections, to discuss with others what needs to be done to ensure there are general election candidates representing workers’ interests too.

The motion, drafted to be amendable to take account of different trade union rules and relationships to the Labour Party, is published below.

  1. This [union branch] notes that 2024 is highly likely to be the year that we finally see the back of the Tories after five Tory prime ministers and 14 years of devastation inflicted on our services and communities and living standards generally.
  2. Millions hope against hope that a government led by Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer will be different.  What is needed is money for council services, investment in our NHS and a fully-funded decent pay rise for public sector workers.
  3. But Starmer has promised none of that.  His watchword is ‘fiscal discipline’ – cuts.  The backing given by Starmer’s Labour Party to Israel’s barbarous war on the Palestinians, meekly following the Tory government’s lead, is another indication of what we can expect from them in office.  If they won’t protest against the mass murder and the destruction of Gaza, what confidence can we have that they will fight to protect local services, jobs, wages and benefits here?
  4. We acknowledge that our union [is affiliated to the Labour Party]/[does not currently have any political affiliation] and this frames what our branch can do within our union’s rules to ensure that workers’ interests find representation in the General election taking place this year.
  5. Nonetheless, and within those rules, this branch resolves [as a branch to join]/[to support individual branch members acting in a personal capacity joining] with other local trade unionists, campaigners and socialists where opportunities arise to meet and discuss further what needs to be done to ensure there is a workers’ voice in the general election on the ballot paper that defends the basic policies and principles of trade unionism and socialism. (Noting that there is nothing in the rules that prevents members standing as candidates or supporting, in a personal capacity, for any party which truly supports trade unionist and socialist principles)