Friday 23 February 2018

Unions threaten to block Miliband's reform plan

Andrew Grice

TRADE unions have defied Ed Miliband, pictured, by threatening to block his plan to recast their relationship with the British Labour Party.

Paul Kenny, the leader of the GMB union, who chairs the Trade Union and Labour Party Liaison Organisation in the UK, won huge applause at the Labour conference in Brighton when he attacked Mr Miliband's plan for union members to "opt in" to supporting the party financially.

He warned: "Let nobody be under any illusion that as collective organisations the removal or sale of our collective voice is not on the agenda."

The Labour leader needs to win over at least some of the unions because they will enjoy half the voting power when a special Labour conference decides whether to back his reforms next March. Mr Kenny dismissed the proposed change as "irrelevant navel gazing about internal party structures, which frankly the British public do not give a fig about".

However, Ray Collins, Labour's former general secretary, who is reviewing its union links, told the conference, "We should not fear change."

Irish Independent

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