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25 August 2016
Labour's Blairite machine suspends membership of left-wing bakers' union leader
Blairite machine's methods are akin to those of a police state
A Socialist Party press release
The Socialist Party condemns the suspension of Ronnie Draper, BFAWU bakers' union general secretary, from Labour Party membership by the Blairite machine and we call for his immediate reinstatement.
The BFAWU is a militant union that has been at the forefront of fighting against zero-hour contracts, winning a victory at Hovis in Wigan in 2013 and successfully moving a motion at TUC Congress a year later committing it to campaigning for a £10 an hour minimum wage.
Just this summer, BFAWU members have been on strike in Sheffield and Newport against cuts in terms and conditions.
As a result of his suspension, Ronnie, like an increasing number of Labour Party members, will not be allowed to vote in the leadership election.
This is clearly a strategy of the Labour right, backed by the Tories and capitalist establishment with their red-baiting media, to undemocratically hand a victory to Owen Smith or at least make the margin of a Jeremy Corbyn win close enough to give them justification for a 'parliamentary coup' against the membership.
Otherwise, where is Smith demanding the reinstatement of Ronnie and the tens of thousands who have been culled from the contest?
This act has allegedly been because of a tweet from Ronnie that he hasn't yet been informed of! Yet attacks on Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell go unpunished. Just this Tuesday, Owen Smith said: "...what you won't get from me, is some, you know, lunatic at the top of the Labour Party." Yet he remains unpunished.
Actually, this is a harbinger of what a Smith leadership would mean - a purge of the left and maintaining the undemocratic character of Labour. The BFAWU was the only union to vote against Ed Miliband's Collins Review that finally ended the ability of the unions to act collectively in the party.
It shows that the Blairites will never be reconciled to Jeremy Corbyn's leadership and his re-election must be the first step in a struggle to take on the right and totally transform Labour into a democratic socialist anti-austerity party, that welcomes in left forces such as the Socialist Party.
John McDonnell and Ronnie Draper are speaking at the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) TUC Congress rally:
'Cameron Gone - get the rest of the Tories Out!' #KeepCorbyn
1pm, Sunday 11th September 2016
Ashdown Suite in the Holiday Inn, 137 King's Road (seafront), Brighton BN1 2JF
Confirmed speakers to date:
- Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP
- PCS President Janice Godrich
- RMT General Secretary Mick Cash
- BFAWU General Secretary Ronnie Draper
- POA General Secretary Steve Gillan
NSSN website: http://shopstewards.net/2016/08/4091/
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