Analysis Breaking News

CWU special conference votes to pull all but bare minimum funding from Labour

Union head says Starmer and co are ‘failing to connect with working-class communities’

A Communication Workers Union (CWU) special conference has today voted to withdraw all but its ‘affiliation dues’ from Labour – the bare minimum funding to maintain the union’s link to the party.

Delegates of the CWU, one of the larger Labour-affiliated unions, voted to ensure that any additional funding outside of nominal affiliation fees would instead go to specific Labour candidates and campaigns that support the CWU’s industrial and political aims, and to support the selection and election of such candidates.

The motion was passed as part of a wide-ranging debate on the union’s future relationship with the Labour Party – including complete disaffiliation, which General Secretary Dave Ward opposed while calling for a ‘new relationship based on working pro-actively with Labour leaders across the country who are delivering for CWU members’.

Commenting on the funding vote, Ward said:

The decision taken by conference today allows the CWU to focus its political attention on building our movement out in communities.

The current Labour leadership is failing to connect with working class communities and that was made clear by the scores of our members who spoke passionately in the debate today.“In focusing our political resources on those in Labour who are really up for delivering for our members we are looking beyond the factional war being waged by an out-of-touch Westminster politics.

This is a positive step for our union and a real offer to those in Labour who want to change things on the ground.

The full motion reads:

Conference notes that:

(1) the current political environment is perhaps one of the most difficult in the history of the Labour movement, and nationally, the Labour Party is failing to break through and seems more concerned with factional infighting than it does reaching out to working people;

(2) the Labour Party’s lack of connection with working people has been decades in the making, but current opinion polling and Keir Starmer’s own approval ratings demonstrate the serious task that Labour faces if it is to ever win power again;

(3) although Labour is struggling nationally, the Party is making a real difference in areas across the country in places where the CWU has strong links with local and regional leaders who also support our industrial and political aims, including metro mayors and council leaders who are delivering on their promises of building council houses, trade union recognised jobs, green-energy, publicly owned local transport and a host of other radical reforms that serve their local communities;

(4) in more recent years, our relationship with Labour has always been underpinned by the idea that the Party will not get something for nothing, and as other trade union leaders are now also echoing this call, we must strengthen that commitment and invest our time, energyand resources with those in Labour who want to deliver the political and industrial aims of the CWU.

Conference agrees the NEC are instructed as follows:

(1) to suspend any donations outside of our affiliation fees to the national Labour Party. Any additional funding outside of our affiliation fees will instead go to specific Labour candidates and campaigns that support CWU industrial and political aims and to support the selection and election of such candidates.

(2) to work pro-actively with Labour leaders across the country who are delivering on-the-ground solutions in their communities right now, as well as exploring all opportunities to link up our own industrial strategies with these political pursuits;

(3) to create a CWU Working Class Candidates Programme that will be held once a year to train up a number of CWU members who wish to become political candidates, either for local or national office;

(4) to refresh and build a more dynamic Political Officer’s Network that brings together Political Officer’s from across the country from branches and regions on a regular basis to feed into and deliver the Union’s national political strategy, ensure a presence in communities and a consistent approach to implementing the direction of this motion.  (5) to refresh and build our ability to campaign politically with a suite of online materials and educational materials that will offer an innovative approach to linking the political with our industrial strategies, such as within issues around the Universal Service Obligation, Post Office, the roll-out of Fibre Broadband, and the casualization of labour.

The motion is the latest of the self-inflicted woes of the Starmer-Evans Labour party. Earlier this year, the Bakers’ union voted overwhelmingly to disaffiliate completely over their conduct, while giant union Unite has cut funding and may cut further and GMB, another of the big three, withdrew funding in London and is running a review of all its donations to the party, with the GMB’s general secretary Gary Smith warning that Labour is not providing ‘value for money’ and condemning Starmer’s despicable decision to write for the Murdoch S*n.

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  1. ‘So Starmer for the bakers has gone stale.
    And the CWU have cut him off.
    I like their w class candidates programme.
    See what happens when you get a Right Wing Tory Toff!’

  2. ‘So Starmer for the Bakers has gone stale.
    And the CWU have cut him off.
    I like their w class candidates programme.
    See what happens when you get a Right Wing Tory Toff!

  3. Over and above their affiliation fees how much has the CWU contributed to the Labour Party in 2020 & 21❓

    1. Steve H the writing is on the wall for your version of a working-class movement for the people.You cannot expect a leader of the Labour party to be a representative of the people when hes a title and brought up in the affluent Oxted Surrey Tory blue wall constituency and attended the posh boys school Reigate independent …Whats up with you and the other parasites join the conservative and unionist party if they will allow a second rate tory tribute act inside party?

      1. Joseph – You were brought up in the same area as Keir and would probably have attended the same school if you’d passed your 11+.

    2. More than from hereon in – until Labour either fixes itself by making Starmer- and Blair-types unattracted to it and unlikely to join, or reforms and re-invigorates itself again (perhaps as a new party).

      Interesting times, exciting too.

    3. Define your term ‘contribution’ steveh if you wish to make a valid and serious point – as well as be taken seriously – rather than sniping from the sidelines.

      Contribution is a concept which encompasses more than just money. It also includes both quantity and quality of non monetary support. Such as campaigning boots on the ground and other similar volunteer work ( often referred to as match funding).

      1. Dave – I would have thought that given the context it would have been obvious that I was referring to how much money the CWU had contributed to the Labour party.
        Do you know how much they donated?

      2. Then you should have said so by being precise to avoid any doubts anyone might have had that the only criteria which counts as far as you are concerned is money rather than the far more qualitatively valuable voluntary unpaid contributions of Union members time and effort

        But thanks for confirming and putting to rest any such doubts which might have existed on that matter. It seems reasonable to surmise the majority, and probably all, on this sight expected nothing more from you.

        Which is probably a first for you in terms of the achievement of not disappointing anyone.

      3. Dave – FFS climb down off your high horse. The above article is primarily about the CWU altering its funding strategy. There was absolutely no need to clarify anything. It was also relevant to ask if anyone knew how much this would impact on the Labour party’s funds.
        If you can answer my question then please tell us, if not then ………

      4. You are being selective to the point of deliberate myopia in your references to what is and is not contained in the article on his point.

        If you take the trouble to read the Motion passed at the Special Conference of this Union – which is published in full in this article – you will see that the process which has been adopted is one of bypassing the present sectarian hierarchy and bureaucracy of the entity previously known as the Labour Party in terms of Union funding.

        The Motion clearly spell’s out that funding is actually being redirected away from the incompetents who have undermined the Party over several decades and generations. Cutting out these middlemen and using the funds directly to fund Labour Party candidates and community programs, initiatives and campaigning etc which are in line with the values and objectives of the Union.

        Values and objectives which, whilst existing in writing within the Party rules etc are neither practiced by, nor form any part of the values of, those who at present control the Party and their cheerleaders like yourself who are more concerned with supporting an unsustainable status quo in their war against anyone, member, supporter or voter who does not share your philistine approach.

        An approach which sees only what it wants to see whilst ignoring anything inconvenient. – as is the case here with the misframing of the issue as being one in which funding is being denied rather than actually redirected in a way in which the Union has more control of its own money and the use to which it is put.

        A level of control more likely to prevent wasting it as would be the case by continuing to give it to those who would use it for purposes antithetical to the values and purposes for which it is intended.

        The Motion also references the non- monetary elements and aspects of Union and other voluntary support whose value far surpasses that of the monetary element.

        But this does not suit the narrative you wish to pursue. Despite being given the opportunity to recognise the reality spelled out both in the published Motion within the article and the article itself you continue to present a blatant misinterpretation of what is taking place to push a spurious narrative.

      5. Dave – Wow! Did my very simple and concise question really generate all that diatribe.
        All I wanted to know was whether this would have much of an impact on the Labour party’s funding.

        Over and above their affiliation fees how much has the CWU contributed to the Labour Party in 2020 & 21❓
        If you don’t know the answer then a simple and concise ‘No’ will suffice.

      6. One would have thought the answer was obvious from the Janet and John provided for you.

        There will be a positive impact on the Party by cutting out the middle man of the incompetent Party bureaucracy and hierarchy as a result of diverting that Unions funding to direct campaigning over which they have control, instead of, for one example, paying out and wasting shed loads of members and Union’s money paying it to charlatans, frauds and dissembling ex employees who deliberately undermined elections.

        It’s not exactly quantum mechanics. Except of course for the terminally or deliberately obtuse.

      7. Dave – So what you are saying is that you can’t answer my question.

  4. SteveH
    Compared to Blair/Brown how much funding and how many votes has Temporary Embarrassment lost
    Will he finish the New Labour project and bankrupt the party

      1. Could someone call the fire service on 999.

        Theirs a pair of pants ablaze.

      2. Dave – You are welcome to explain if you want to enlighten me.

      3. There’s sufficient evidence across this site to demonstrate both the observation that you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink and the Peter Principle.

        Get some other mug to be your skivy.

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