Lord John Hendy eviscerates Unison right’s claim that left-run NEC’s rulings and resolutions are unlawful
As Skwawkbox has reported, the right-wing management of the giant Unison union have been ‘waging war’ on the democratically-elected left majority on the unison’s sovereign national executive (NEC) – and other bodies – in an attempt to prevent the NEC exercising its member-given mandate, according to NEC members.
The right has blocked the left’s entitlement to set the union’s policy at Labour’s recent annual conference – and ignored the union’s already-set official policies to vote in David Evans as Labour general secretary and to rig Labour’s leadership and disciplinary rules in favour of the right.
And when the Unison NEC voted for the union’s ‘machine’ to follow the union’s own rules, the management declared the resolutions unlawful, claiming they had legal advice to prevent the resolutions being enforced – and that because they were unlawful, the NEC could not ask staff to comply.
The ‘presidential team’ of elected left-wing representatives responded by taking the matter to Lord John Hendy, the UK’s foremost expert on Labour law. And Hendy has eviscerated the right’s claims as:
in almost every respect, wrong.
According to the left NEC members targeted by the right’s legal manoeuvres, the right has used its claims to prevent the left carrying out its mandate and to free up right-wing general secretary Christine McAnea and her cronies – some of them former right-wing Labour staff singled out in the notorious leaked Labour report of HQ staffers’ conduct – to ignore the union’s processes and members democracy and act as they see fit, including attacks on the elected union president Paul Holmes.
And according to Hendy, they and their lawyers are talking nonsense. In a 28-page response to the president’s team, he concludes:
Not just errors and omissions, but ‘patent’ – obvious, unmissable – errors and omissions. The attempted legal manoeuvres have been shot down in flames and if the Unison right doesn’t get out of the way of the union’s NEC, they are the ones breaking Unison’s rules and acting unlawfully, because as Hendy notes:
it is for the NEC (and no-one else) to interpret the Rules in cases of ‘doubt, conflict or dispute’.
Time for Unison’s left NEC to flex its muscles and put the right-wing staff in their place.
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