Analysis Breaking

Unite committees table disaffiliation from Labour for union’s conference

Unite groups break from Graham’s accommodation with Labour ‘leader’ to put split from party on conference agenda

Two major Unite groups have voted to put disaffiliation from Labour onto the agenda at the union’s approaching 2023 rules conference.

The North-East, Yorkshire and Humber Health RISC [regional industrial sector committee] and LGBT+ committee have passed votes to table the motion, apparently citing Keir Starmer’s appalling conduct in connection with, among others, the Coventry bin strike.

The move is a break from Unite general secretary Sharon Graham’s increasing accommodations with Starmer, which she first signalled last September when she stated she believed he had workers’ best interests at heart and reinforced late last month with heavily unpopular social media comments about Starmer’s ‘vision’ for British people.

Starmer, meanwhile, has banned his front bench from appearing on picket lines as working people fight for their jobs and for decent pay and conditions, while frantically signalling to corporations and billionaires that he is no threat to their interests. It seems Unite members and activists are at odds with the union’s general secretary, who has been accused of stacking the ongoing Unite executive elections with tame candidates even when they do not qualify to stand, as she tries to tighten her control of the union’s structures.

And, notoriously, Starmer couldn’t stop himself from sneering during an interview when asked about the Coventry bin strike in a naked display of contempt for low-paid workers.

Ms Graham has also been accused of trying to have evidence destroyed in complaints about alleged bullying and misogyny by her husband, who was promoted to a senior position in her office despite being on a final warning from the union over his behaviour – and of atrocious treatment of Irish union legend Brendan Ogle after he returned to work from cancer treatment. In each case, Skwawkbox’s attempts to obtain comment from the union met with non-responsive smears.

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