Unite Gibraltar backs ‘red’ Len in union election
The local branch of Unite the Union has thrown its weight behind the “radical left-wing” approach of Len McCluskey as he vies for re-election as Unite General Secretary.
And in doing so it took a swipe at his opponent, Gerard Coyne, who, it said represents a return to ‘Blairism’.
This comes after Unite Gibraltar's Area Committee and Branches (Public, Health and Care, MOD/ISP and Private Sectors respectively) unanimously decided to support Mr McCluskey, who stepped down early from the role in order to stand again for a third term.
A committee headed by Sebastian Sauer, who also chairs Unite’s private sector branch, has been established and is leading the election drive locally for Mr McCluskey.
The decision represents a major gamble by Mr McCluskey to remain head of the UK’s biggest union and Labour’s top donor.
But, with Brexit looming, Mr McCluskey represents a “fighting union” that will defend the principles of training and apprenticeships and battle job cuts, privatisation and anti-trade union laws, Mr Sauer said in an interview with the Chronicle.
“We need a strong union and we need to build a strong union like Len McCluskey is doing now in the UK,” he said.
“He promotes democracy within the union, he promotes that the members should be in charge in the union and authority should be pushed through the branches of the union,” he added.
Flagging reports in the UK media, Mr Sauer said Mr McClusky and Gibraltarian Manuel Cortes, General Secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA), are often singled out for the most criticism.
“They must be doing something right when they get criticised all of the time. They are the ones who go on strike, they are the ones fighting against the cuts and that is why we support him,” he explained.
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