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Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/25311

Posted on 21 April 2017 at 11:12 GMT

Len McCluskey, photo Bob Severn

Len McCluskey, photo Bob Severn   (Click to enlarge)

Len McCluskey re-election - a defeat for the right

The Socialist Party welcomes the re-election of Len McCluskey as General Secretary of Unite. His victory over Gerard Coyne is a defeat for the Tories and the capitalist establishment as well as the Blairites within Labour. They moved heaven and earth in the Tory media, with Coyne disgracefully using the Murdoch press, even including the hated Sun.

They regarded this election as the platform for another attempt to unseat Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader, to open the way to seize back the leadership of the party. But this result, coming at the beginning of the General Election campaign, will give a major boost to all those forces who want to push Corbyn into government on a pro-worker, anti-austerity programme.

We call on Len, with this renewed mandate, to put himself and the union at the helm of Labour's election team alongside Jeremy and John McDonnell.

This Unite election has shown the role of the mass media and it can only be defeated in the next seven weeks if there is a mass campaign of meetings, rallies and demonstrations - mobilising around a socialist programme against this austerity government of not merely the 1% but the 0.1% super-rich.

A Coyne election would have also been the signal to attempt to move the union back into the dark days of partnership with the bosses. We believe that the closeness of the result (see below) shows that the candidature of Ian Allinson was an unnecessary risk that threatened to let in Coyne through splitting the left vote.

Four Socialist Party members are standing on the United Left slate in the Unite Executive elections, which will be counted in the next few days. If elected, their presence on the Executive will be essential in ensuring that the union continues to act in a militant manner politically and industrially.

Rob Williams, Socialist Party industrial organiser, for the Socialist Party EC

Len McCluskey 59,067 votes

Gerard Coyne 53,544 votes

Ian Allinson 17,143 votes


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 21 April 2017 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
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Related links:

Unite:

triangleManchester indefinite bus strike against 'fire and rehire'

triangleVictory for Judith, defend Moe

triangleIT workers walkout against 'fire and rehire'

triangleRAF Leeming strike escalates

triangleSparks force bosses back but fight continues to stamp out deskilling

Len McCluskey:

triangleCorbyn suspended - Time to fight for a new mass workers' party

triangleUnite votes to cut affiliation fee to Labour

triangleLabour payouts: unions must discuss political representation

triangleA fighting programme for Unite

Election:

triangleDetermined to smash the fighting fund target to fuel election challenge in May

triangleKeep the fighting fund rushing in for a TUSC stand in May

triangleScottish TUSC election campaign launch

Socialist:

triangleUnion fight to save musicians' livelihoods

triangleSocialist Students conference

Labour:

triangleLabour surrenders to Tories in Devon

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