Unison: vote for Holmes! Marsha Jane Thompson reports:
Ballot papers have now gone out to 1.3 million members in the election for Unison’s General Secretary.
Incumbent Dave Prentis – a key figure in the labour movement establishment – faces a strong challenge from Paul Holmes, secretary of the large and effective Kirklees branch. Roger Bannister, Secretary of the Knowsley branch and prominent supporter of the Socialist Party, is also standing in his fourth consecutive election.
Unison United Left has endorsed Holmes’ bid and is urging activists to keep on working to get the vote out right up to the close of the poll on 9th June. Given that in the last election the turnout was just 17%, it is certain that as you read this four out of five Unison members will not yet have voted. If we can increase turnout we can overcome the built-in advantage of incumbency. Prentis, whose election address scrapes the red-baiting barrel, has the advantage of the support of almost the entire full-time machine.
Disgracefully Prentis, in his election address, seeks to link Labour Party member Paul Holmes to the Socialist Workers Party (while making scandalous allegations about union funds). At the same time, he is disingenuously posing as “politically independent” and concealing his own key role in the Labour Party as a supporter of the party leadership which, in Government, attacked his members.
Holmes has the advantage of being a genuine rank and file trade unionist not afraid to debate and answer questions in front of ordinary workers.
*For all the latest information visit http://www.paulholmeskirklees.blogspot.com