Wednesday, 4 September 2013

GMB Union cuts financial support to the Labour Party

The recent row over the influence of the Unite union in selecting parliamentary candidates in Falkirk has led to a reaction from an unexpected quarter. The GMB, one of the largest unions in the country has decided to drastically reduce its' financial contribution to the Labour Party. The BBC reports:

The GMB union is to cut the affiliation funds it gives Labour from £1.2m to £150,000 in the wake of a row over reforms, it has announced.
The union said there would also be cuts in spending on Labour campaigns.
The changes will take effect from the start of next year.
It comes ahead of Ed Miliband's move to reform union funding so individual union members have to opt in to support the party, rather than being automatically affiliated.
Of the £3.14m Labour received in the three months from April to June, the GMB gave £486,000.

The full statement by the GMB reads:

“The GMB Central Executive Council (CEC) has voted to reduce its current levels of affiliation to the Labour Party from 420,000 to 50,000 from 2014.
This will reduce the union’s basic affiliation fee to the Labour Party by £1.1m per year.
It is expected that there will be further reductions in spending on Labour Party campaigns and initiatives.
GMB CEC expressed considerable regret about the apparent lack of understanding that the proposal mooted by Ed Miliband will have on the collective nature of trade union engagement with the Labour Party.
A further source of considerable regret to the CEC is that the  party that had been formed to represent the interest of working people in this country intends to end collective engagement of trade unions in the party they helped to form.
The CEC also decided to scale down by one third the level of it’s national political fund.”


Unite – £772,000
GMB – £486,000
Unison – £458,000
Usdaw – £411,000
Communication Workers Union – £143,000

(Source: Electoral Commission)

The TUC Conference begins on Saturday and attention will need to be made to the views of other Labour affiliated unions.

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