UNISON – still donating to New Labour?

Dave Prentis’ big speech at UNISON conference was full of fine words about “no more blank cheques for New Labour” and he promised to suspend funding to UNISON-backed Labour MPs. This is far too little, too late. When New Labour are carrying out a 15% cut in NHS funding – meaning tens of thousands of jobs being lost and yet more cuts to an already overstretched health service. I am writing about the NHS, as that is where I work, but elsewhere in the public sector 350,000 jobs are under threat.

I think this underlines the need for a new party to represent ordinary people. I think UNISON should give money to a political fund, not to feed the New Labour hand that bites workers, but to build a real alternative voice for working people.

In the meantime, how much will Prentis’ speech actually represent? Around £100,000 a year. This is a drop in the ocean, compared to the massive funding given by the major trade unions to New Labour.

There is good news, however – many unions have an opt-out clause – all you have to do is email them saying you don’t want to give to New Labour. Visit Plaid Cymru’s page here for a simple form (I am not a Plaid Cymru supporter by the way!).

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