Link to this page: https://archive.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1109/31621
Hugo Pierre for Unison general secretary
Fight the witch-hunt of Corbyn and his supporters
Socialist candidate in Unison's general secretary election, Hugo Pierre, has condemned the witch-hunt against Jeremy Corbyn and those who support him in the Labour Party, and the attempts in the union to squash debate on the issue.
Hugo is calling for a conference of the trade union and workers' movement inside and outside the Labour Party to fight these attacks and discuss how to achieve genuine independent political representation.
It has been reported that Roger McKenzie, assistant general secretary of Unison and another candidate in the general secretary election, has been referred to the Labour Party for alleged antisemitism.
Hugo Pierre says: "I completely oppose any attempt to witch-hunt Corbyn-supporters in the Labour Party. I also strongly oppose any moves inside Unison to block members' right to debate Corbyn's suspension and deny the right of the Labour Link, the committee of Unison members who pay into the affiliated political fund, to even discuss a motion of support for him.
"This hostile environment within the Labour Party is further evidence that the right wing backing Starmer are determined to make a full break with Corbyn's political programme and are intolerant of any socialist ideas. It makes clear any attempt to unite left and right is false.
"This confirms the position I have argued for in this general secretary election, that Unison needs an independent fighting political voice.
"I am the only candidate in the election to have said we should only use our members' money to politically back those who back us and the policies we stand for.
"Antisemitism must be taken seriously and combated, as must all other forms of racism. This, however, is a cynical attempt to use false accusations of misuse the serious issue of antisemitism to attack the left.
"Keir Starmer has laid down a clear challenge to the trade union movement. The choice is clear - accept having no party that represents the interests of the working-class majority, or stand up and fight!
"If I was general secretary of Unison, I would immediately contact Unite and other trade unions to call a conference of the workers' movement inside and outside of the Labour Party, to fight this attack and to discuss how to ensure workers have a political vehicle that does fight for their interests.
"In the midst of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s - with unemployment spiralling and children going hungry - a mass socialist voice, including at the ballot box, is desperately needed.
"If this step is not taken from the top, there will be many workers and young people who will be prepared to do so anyway.
"Unison branches should be allowed to support them. Not a penny more to cutters and privatisers."
- For more information on Hugo's campaign and his full programme for a fighting, democratic Unison general secretary on a worker's wage, see 'Hugo Pierre 4 Unison General Secretary' on Facebook.
- Rules introduced by Unison to clamp down on democratic debate in the union mean that candidates for union elections cannot 'invite or accept' support 'in money or kind' from any entity which 'is not provided for in Unison rules'. These articles are produced without the authorisation of Hugo Pierre, in order to comply with these requirements.
In The Socialist 11 November 2020:
Review and readers' opinion