Don’t split the left: an open letter from Unite members

Unite the Union flag, Photo: Baltine, Flickr / cropped from original / licensed under CC BY 2.0, linked at bottom of article

Unite members call for a single left candidate to defeat the right in the General Secretary election. 

The first duty of a trade union and trade union leaders is to the union’s members and to the wider working class. Unite members, along with all other workers in Britain and Ireland, face the threats of an economic downturn, falling real wages, fire and rehire and myriad other challenges.

In this context, strong unions committed to serious organising, and fighting for their members and class are more important than ever. The current campaign for the role of Unite General Secretary is therefore crucially important.

It is essential that Unite remains an active, vocal union fighting for its members rights, and resisting inequality and injustice in society more generally. To ensure this, it is crucial that the next General Secretary represents the socialist left of the union.

At present there are three candidates from the left – and if all three remain in the running, it is almost certain that they will hand leadership of Unite to the right of the union, which will be an immense loss for members and for the cause of socialism in Britain and Ireland.

In light of this, we call on the three left wing candidates to enter into a concerted discussion and, as a matter of urgency, settle on a single left candidate to contest the election.

Putting forward a single candidate will give us the best opportunity to ensure that Unite is led from the left going forward, and in turn will put us into the best position to develop Unite into the fighting union we need it to be.

All three candidates have made important contributions to our movement and whilst we may differ on who our favoured candidate is, in the interests of our movement they must now put unity before all else.

Sign the open letter here

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