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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 February 2009

Launch of new broad left for Unite

The launch meeting for the new broad left organisation in Unite, 'United Left', takes place in Birmingham on 21 February. Formed from the T&G Broad Left, the Amicus Unity Gazette and independent lefts in both unions, this new organisation will have an important role to play if it advocates fighting, socialist policies as an answer to the growing crisis facing workers. But if it defines itself purely as an electoral machine devoted to maintaining 'left' majorities at all costs, then there will be problems ahead.

Kevin Parslow

The current leadership of Unite has failed to put up a vigorous enough battle against the effects on workers of the recession. But there is anger from below, as witnessed by the construction engineers' strikes and, this week, the scenes at BMW at Cowley. Unite joint general secretary Woodley said all the right things about the sackings at Cowley, but only called for a change in the law rather than action!

A left organisation within the union must reject 'partnership' with the bosses. There is also growing discontent with the relationship the union's leaders have with New Labour and the amount of money the union has spent in propping up New Labour.

Last year the Gazette split, with some supporters of Unite joint general secretary Derek Simpson forming the 'Workers Uniting Group'. But rather than getting behind a genuine left-wing member of Amicus for general secretary, like Jerry Hicks, the Gazette backed the right-wing Laurence Faircloth. When Faircloth withdrew from the race, the majority of the Gazette leadership threw in its lot behind Simpson!

This is not an auspicious start for the new left. Those who attend the launch meeting should discuss a serious programme and the kind of representatives workers need to combat the present crisis of capitalism.

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In The Socialist 18 February 2009:

Fight back now to stop job cuts

Anger as jobs slashed with an hour's notice

Car workers' jobs slaughter - begin the fightback!

Defend every job on the tube

Construction workers protest: Staythorpe power station

Isle of Grain picket

Meeting on Lindsey oil refinery dispute: Workers strike back

Why the bosses don't want an organised workforce


Socialist Students

Stop fees

Students protest against attacks on Gaza

'Books not Bombs' at Nottingham

Concessions won at Queen Mary university


Socialist Party editorial

New Labour in blind panic

Regulators resign over financial meltdown


Sport

London Olympics battered by economic crisis


Socialist Party campaigns

Yahya must stay Defend Saudi Arabian trade unionist from deportation

Coventry: Hands off our youth services!

Political vendetta against Tommy Sheridan

Wirral cuts: Fighting 'cultural terrorism'

Fast news


Socialist Party feature

Defend the welfare state


International socialist news and analysis

Israel: Election results indicate a deepening political crisis

Costa Rica: Urgent solidarity action for unionists


Socialist Party workplace news and analysis

Manchester Unison elections: Left candidates well supported

Usdaw presidential election: The campaign they tried to hide

Usdaw Activist public meeting

Fight the Unison witch-hunt

Launch of new broad left for Unite


 

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