‘Community’ union supports Owen Smith in Labour leadership. Shame it didn’t consult members first

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Members of the trade union ‘Community’ have said they are “confused” after it supported Owen Smith’s candidacy for the Labour Party leadership – without consulting them.

An announcement on the ‘Community’ website states:

Today, Community’s National Executive Council met to discuss the Labour Party leadership election. Both candidates submitted campaign literature as well as written responses to a number of questions, relevant to Community’s members, in advance of the meeting. After a long debate, it was decided that Community should nominate Owen Smith to be leader.

Roy Rickhuss, the union’s general secretary, has written enthusiastically about Mr Smith on the LabourList website. He is quoted as follows: “Corbyn’s leadership now presents a significant barrier to a future Labour government.

“He very plainly cannot lead a party and his continued presence as Labour leader makes our ability to build an election winning, social movement, the likes of which was saw in the late 90s and early 00s, harder not easier.

“Owen Smith offers an agenda that is as radical as it is pragmatic. In a short space of time he has laid out detailed plans to make workplaces fairer and more prosperous. He has shown a real understanding of what an active industrial strategy should look like.

“Owen clearly has incredible ambition in his plan for Britain while recognising the fundamental need for Labour to be trusted with the nation’s finances.”

The soundbites are so familiar, one could be forgiven for thinking he was taking them from a prepared script.

Other unions, like GMB and Unison, are consulting their members before announcing their nominations and it seems clear that ‘Community’ members wanted the same consideration from their executive.

John McPartland, on Twitter, wrote: “I am a member of the Community Union. This is news to me.”

‘Mrs Jones’ noted: “I’m confused? I’m a member of community but wasn’t consulted? Is this normal?”

And ‘Roger C’ summed up as follows: “Smith building plastic support for a plastic campaign. Artificial politics won’t win elections. Smith’s a mockery.”

Way to go, Mr Rickhuss!

Your union may be supporting Smith but, by ignoring them, you’ve practically guaranteed that most of its members will vote for Corbyn.

Source: Community backs Owen Smith for Labour leadership | Community : Community


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9 thoughts on “‘Community’ union supports Owen Smith in Labour leadership. Shame it didn’t consult members first

  1. John

    Regrettably, there have always been right-wing leaderships in a few trades’ unions.
    This union – equally regrettably – seems to be one of therm.
    Maybe community’s members should consider switching to another union?

  2. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl)

    When one section of a society takes action without the knowledge of the other part there is something underhand going on. Of course we are becoming used to such scheming in certain sections but, thank goodness, we don’t hear any of it in jeremy Corbyn’s followers.

  3. Terry Kelly

    The behaviour of the Community Union’s general secretary Roy Rickhuss in bypassing his membership and supporting Owen Smith is a disgrace, this Union represents steelworkers. Is it any wonder that the steel industry has been decimated with people like this running the union?.

    1. John

      During the 1984 Miners’ Strike, the then General Secretary of the steel workers’ union refused to support the industrial action being taken by the miners. It has been argued that his right-wing stance was a major contributing factor to the defeat of the miners and the beginning of the decimation of the British trades’ union movement.

      1. John

        I am sure you are right.
        Bill Sirs – later knighted for his services to capitalism – let down all UK workers and ensured a decade of Thatcherism with effects still being felt today.
        His bungling (?) efforts cost steel workers tens of thousands of well-paid jobs and now he compounded his failures by undermining transport workers and coal miners.
        Since then, workers have seen their share of national wealth steadily decline while a wealthy few grow ever richer and a middle class is steadily squeezed out of existence.
        What can we learn from this history lesson?
        That there are those who will tack and turn for their own selfish advantage but who care nothing for the lives and prospects of ordinary people.
        Corbyn is not like that, whereas most of the 170 PLP MPs are.

Comments are closed.