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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 June 2021

Majority of BFAWU members vote to break from Labour

photo Paul Mattsson

photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

53% of members of the BFAWU bakers' union believe that the union should no longer be affiliated to Labour. Just 7% strongly believe that Labour still represents them.

These were the results of a survey of members launched in advance of the union's online conference which was held from 7-12 June.

The consultation was first announced in an article on the union's website last November, following Starmer's victory as Labour leader and the increasing attack on the left in the party, particularly the outrageous suspension of Jeremy Corbyn.

However, with a two-thirds majority required for a rule change, the union leadership is not recommending disaffiliation from the Labour Party.

Members of other Labour-affiliated unions would welcome similar consultations. This should be used to fight for a new political vehicle for workers, their families and communities, standing on an anti-cuts socialist programme opposed to the pro-capitalist consensus represented by Starmer.

It's clear that the BFAWU vote wasn't a vote for non-political trade unionism - 56% of members believed the union should maintain some kind of political link.

The BFAWU has a proud fighting history and has looked to reach out to socialist forces inside and outside Labour, such as in the Fast Food Campaign that has sought to organise low-paid fast food workers.

It now has a mandate to approach all unions - affiliated and non-affiliated to Labour - to call a conference that would be open to the Labour left and socialist organisations like the Socialist Party and those who work with us in Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, to discuss how to organise a political force that can best represent workers and stand up to the stark Covid economic and health consequences for workers.

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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.
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In The Socialist 16 June 2021:


Trade unions and workplace

Left candidate needed for Unite general secretary election

Majority of BFAWU members vote to break from Labour

Right lose control in Unison NEC election

Sparks win victory!

Engineers in fourth week of strike action against huge fire-and-rehire attacks

Leicester University workers strike against redundancies

PCS conference 2021: Divide between union leaders and rank-and-file exposed

Socialist Party to the fore at Unison LG conference

Redbridge school walkout over victimised union rep


NHS

Underpaid and overworked - NHS workers say: 'Enough is enough'

Now is the time to fight for the NHS

Save Leicester General Hospital


International news

Will Biden's new foreign policy change the direction of US imperialism?

Tamil Solidarity asylum victory

Who represents the Palestinians?

International solidarity protests


News

Make vaccine technology public, nationalise big-pharma

Schools need resources to tackle 'routine' sexual harassment

Neonatal leave introduced: Unions must fight for extensions and full pay

Beth Roper inquest: Train company failures ignored

Birmingham Clean Air Zone a tax on the poor

Johnson's G7 hypocrisy

Pandemic homeless


Campaigns and party news

Enfield byelection: We need councillors prepared to resist

Queues at Socialist Party stall in Cov

National finance meeting


Readers' opinion

Women's health matters

Books that inspired me: The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists

Readers' comments


 

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