Sunday, 23 April 2017

Punishment Beating

The runner-up in the Unite leadership election Gerard Coyne issued the following statement after the result was announced and made a pointed reference to union machine attempting to bully and intimidate him "even after the close of polls".

Now if you ask me, the decision to suspend Coyne is the equivalent of a 'punishment beating' for daring to stand against the incumbent general secretary Len McCluskey, a big supporter of the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, of course.

Corbyn was a full-time union official himself before he was elected as a Labour MP back in 1983, but beyond congratulating Len McCluskey on his victory I have heard anything from Corbyn on the Unite election.

So let's hope the Labour leader speaks out soon and condemns what looks like a political witch hunt by Unite to victimise and drive out critics of Len McCluskey.

In the meantime, here's what Gerard Coyne had to about the election and its aftermath:  

"It has been a very close count and the ballot sends some very serious messages to Unite.

"I am proud yo have run a campaign that faced up to the issues that concerned members. Unite needs to change and it needs to put its focus back where it belongs on looking after the red interests of the members of the union.

"It's been a hard and robust campaign. The union machine consistently attempted to bully and intimidate me, something that has continued even after the close of polls.

"Nevertheless tens of thousands of members backed my fight to change our union for the better.

"On the downside, turnout has fallen disastrously. Many members have reported to me thatchy did not get their ballot paper at all or if they did, that it arrived literally on the day the polls closed and so was useless.

"This was no vote of confidence, with falling turnout and a halving of Len McClsukey's previous vote. It's time for all those that were involved to reflect on the message that the union's membership are sending to the organisation"


Incredible Shrinking Man(date)

Image result for incredible shrinking man + images

The BBC has just reported the results of the Unite general secretary election with 129,754 votes cast in total on a low turnout of just 12% of the union's membership.

The voting share of the individual candidates was as follows:

Len McCluskey - 45.5%
Gerard Coyne - 41.3%
Ian Allinson - 13.2%

Now the BBC doesn't say how many ballot papers were actually issued, but if Unite is still claiming 1.5 million members then around only 4% of the total union membership has backed Len McCluskey on a much reduced turnout from the last contest.

Meanwhile McCluskey's closest rival has been suspended which tells its own story. 


Len McCluskey 're-elected as Unite general secretary'
Image copyright - PA

Len McCluskey has been re-elected as Unite's general secretary following a bitter leadership battle.

The result will be seen as a boost for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Mr McCluskey's chief rival Gerard Coyne was seen as the anti-Corbyn candidate and Unite is the party's biggest donor.

Mr Coyne was suspended from his job as a Unite official on Thursday pending an investigation but he remains a member of the union.

The move did not affect the election as counting was already under way.

Mr McCluskey won 59,067 votes, Mr Coyne 53,544 and Ian Allinson 17,143, in a turnout of just over 12%, Unite said.

Psst - pass it on! (16/09/11)

Image result for Psst! pass it on + images

Psst, pass it on!

Len McCluskey of Unite has a smaller 'mandate' than Dave Prentis of Unison see post dated 14 September 2011 - People in Glass Houses

Dave has a big whopper of a mandate compared to Len anyway and depending on how you count the votes.

But Dave's 11.2% puts Len's 6.8% completely in the shade and here's a earlier post from November 2010 which explains why.

Now I don't think that size really matters unless people go around making complete dicks of themselves by saying that they've got a bigger mandate than anyone else.

Because normally that's not true and men tend to be a poor judge of size, or so my women friends tell me anyway.

"Election Mandates (24 November 2010)"

Len McCluskey election as the new leader of Unite has prompted lots of Guardian readers to comment on the newspaper's web site.

Most people registering a view are rightly unimpressed at the poor turnout.

Less than 16% of the union's membership participated in the ballot which does raise serious questions about trade union democracy.

If 84% of the electorate cannot be bothered to vote something is clearly wrong and union leaders should do more than just shrug their shoulders and move on.

Some commentators also attack Len McCluskey, on a personal level, which is clearly rather unfair.

Len has still been elected after all he just needs to avoid getting too carried away.

Because any over the top attack on the government and its mandate to govern will sound completely ridiculous.

From a union leader elected with the backing of only 6.8% of Unite's 1.5 million members.