Consultation indicates deep dissatisfaction among union’s members – most of whom live in former ‘heartland’ areas, says Hodson
Monday night saw a hard-hitting discussion between Ian Hodson of the Bakers’ union (BFAWU) and the Fire Brigades Union’s (FBU) Matt Wrack on Socialist Telly’s ‘Skwawk Talk’ programme.
And in an explosive section of the programme, Bakers’ president Hodson indicated that the union’s affiliation with the Labour party may not last much longer, such is the dissatisfaction of union members with the Labour party’s direction and policies under Keir Starmer.
BFAWU has been consulting with its members since January and Hodson said that the results so far show that only 9% of its members think that the Labour party is serving their interests or values:
As examples, Hodson listed Starmer’s failure to oppose during the pandemic in which his members, as key workers, have been put in danger by government policies and Starmer’s eagerness to support the ‘Spycops’ bill legalising criminal acts by ‘intelligence sources’ – and he was especially scathing in his criticism of Starmer’s reflex of agreeing with Boris Johnson when he can’t think of anything else to say.
Disaffiliation by the Bakers would send a shockwave through the party and, more importantly, through the union movement – and might well start a chain reaction, given the anger among other left unions and the reduction in funding already imposed by the giant Unite union and not to donate anything to the party for almost a year, leaving a huge hole in the party’s finances.
Worse still for Starmer, FBU head Matt Wrack warned the Labour leader that his own union’s affiliation – and that of others – cannot be taken for granted. But more on that in the next article.
Watch the full, compelling programme here.
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