This CLP notes that the Labour Party was founded as an alliance between trade unions and socialist organisations to provide a political voice for working people. With the current attacks on working people it is most important that the Labour Party and trades unions work effectively together – poor working conditions and low wages require more union organisation and legislation to protect workers.
We believe that Labour’s continuing relationship with three million trade unionists who are affiliated members of our party helps to root our party in our communities and workplaces. It is a relationship which has seen the Labour Party through its greatest crises and to our greatest triumphs.
We believe the party can best achieve its aims and values if it is funded primarily by its affiliates and members. Both state funding and large business finance cannot tie the party so closely to its principles.
We recognise that trade unions are collective organisations of working people, and understand that the relationship between the unions and the Party, locally and nationally should be on the basis of collective affiliation.
We note that Ray Collins is currently leading a review of the Party’s relationship with the trade unions at the request of the Party Leader.
We support positive measures to strengthen and improve the relationship between the Party and the unions, for example by encouraging the greater democratic engagement of ordinary trade unionists in party structures and by developing the understanding of the nature and purpose of trade unionism among party members.
We oppose any moves that would weaken or undermine the relationship between the Party and the trade unions based upon their collective affiliation.
We note the Tories are determined to divert the electorate’s attention away from the government’s failed policies by blaming all those not responsible, including the trade unions, for the current economic mess. We oppose their fraudulent agenda and will not give them further sticks with which to beat our party or the trade unions.
We believe that the Party’s priority at present must be to win a Labour government and ensure Ed Miliband is the next Prime Minister. The political focus, the energy and resources of our the entire party should be focussed on this fight against the Tory-led coalition. Proposals to reduce the role of Labour’s affiliates in the Party’s internal decision making would be a diversion from this fight against the Tories.
We call upon Ray Collins and the NEC, in the current review, to reflect these concerns.
CLPs can forward their suggestions on the Collins review to the NEC and to the Better Politics Policy Commission (via http://www.yourbritain.org.uk).