GMB members paying political levy likely to be balloted on funds going to Labour party.
Issue will go to the next meeting of GMB Central Executive Council in September which will determine GMB policy on this matter.
GMB, a founder member of the Labour Party, responded today to a speech by Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party, on trades unions affiliation to the Party.
Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary, said "Ed Miliband made a speech today (9th July) with far reaching consequences for the Labour Party and the relationships trades unions have with it.
The announcement contains a large number of new Labour Party policies which as yet are completely without the necessary substance that is required to see if they are workable. In the scrum of publicity it is important to note that Ed Miliband has said that these ideas will take a considerable length of time to flesh out and if feasible to implement them.
Ed Miliband said today that he does not want any money from trades unions political funds which has not been explicitly and freely given on an individual consent basis for the sole purpose of funding Labour Party activities.
This intent ultimately will reduce GMB funding by a very significant but as yet unquantified amount.
The desire of Ed Miliband expressed today will most likely require GMB to ballot those members currently paying the political fund to see if they want any part of it to go to the Labour Party.
GMB is required to have a political fund and members understand this is so that the union can campaign collectively on the issues important to them like NHS, rights at work, housing, pensions and other political and economic priorities. The changes Mr Miliband seeks to made with regard to union affiliation fees will mean that none of the funds that would have gone in political affiliation fees will be available to fund Labour Party operations.
The issue will go to the next meeting of GMB Central Executive Council in September which will determine GMB policy on this matter”.
Contact GMB Press Office Steve Pryle 07921 289880 or Rose Conroy 07974 251 823