STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF GMB, UNISON, USDAW & CWU
On Sunday 22nd April the Welsh Labour Party Conference in Llandudno, agreed to undertake a “Party Democracy Review”. This review, supported by the Welsh Executive Committee, was to include a review of the rules by which the Leader and Deputy Leader of Welsh Labour were to be elected in the future.
It is therefore extremely disappointing, and disrespectful of the Conference decision, that less than 48 hours after this decision was taken, that certain people have sought to bounce the Labour and Trade Union Movement into agreeing changes before the agreed discussions have taken place.
It is clear that the current make up and weighting of the existing electoral college is one that needs to be addressed, and it was on that basis that consultations and discussions were to be entered into, in good faith, with the intention of reaching a position that all the sections, (individual party members, Trade Unions, Co-operative Party Members and Socialist Society members) of the Labour & Trade Union Movement here in Wales could agree upon.
The disregard for the conference decision and the attempted short circuiting of the debate is completely unacceptable to affiliated Trade Unions in Wales, and we wish to make it clear, that whilst we are prepared to look at the makeup and percentage weighting of the existing electoral college, we are not prepared to allow for certain elements within our Movement to take away the Voice of Organised Labour, via their Trade Unions, in future Leadership and Deputy Leadership elections.
When Tony Blair and those on the right of our party attempted to introduce OMOV, the Trade Unions opposed its introduction, because it attempted to move away from the well-established principles of Collectivism and Consensus. It was wrong then and it remains wrong, whoever the Leader is or whichever wing of the Party is in the ascendancy to introduce a system that ignores the principle of Collectivism.
The Labour Party was set up by the Trade Union Movement to be the political voice of Organised Labour, and any attempt to take away the Trade Union voice in Wales will be resisted.
We remain committed to finding a solution to the current impasse, as part of the agreed Party Democracy Review, but we will not be bounced by any candidate or organisation into changing the way that the Trade Unions take part in decision making within the Party that we founded.
Mike Payne Nick Ireland Garry Watkins Steve Belcher
GMB Usdaw CWU Unison
Mike Payne on 07980 753124 or Mike.Payne@GMB.org.uk
Picture used under creative commons from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nationalassemblyforwales/5054655076/in/photolist-8GEqRs-6zKqsL-vkqYwG-a4Nk4r-i6qgQ7-8VmxCL-ok52pv-fEc9B9-v8shmJ-v3utuz-9tWDfT-8TyPUa-9tZDow-9tZCJU-9tWDWZ-485MN8-9qyvWc-dwMNwm-9qBwRq-9eQ5pN-JyQmdG-vxuBH5-a3PEsT-v3un5R-xuwWPm-vBsb17-5cuZV6-mu1HBy-485imi-48am5U-6gy4X1-7cKxHM-6gtDsx-7GytHZ-6gy2r9-9qBrwA-WkryGN-uKUpby-Gsi3dt-6gu5Yt-JUUzB3-vAaDGR-v1Xq53-WS934h-JUUKYA-vAdJBp-wpKtGU-RahgjF-K8YjnY-dW6PWU