Bad arguments against supporting Ian Allinson for Unite General Secretary

Perhaps the strangest thing about the campaign so far is the failure of the other candidates or their supporters to engage with the ideas I’m putting forward for making Unite more effective.

Photo of Ian Allinson
Photo: Steve Eason

Do they agree that we need fortnightly email bulletins to all activists, not filtered through officers and committees? Would creating case studies of members’ successes to save us wasting so much effort trying to reinvent the wheel be a good idea? Do we need to restructure the union to provide better support for the 80% of workplaces in employers that span multiple regions, and where our organising is currently so much less effective? Do we need to build a civil rights movement to challenge an increasingly repressive state rather than fighting anti-union legislation in isolation? Do we need to integrate our equality work better with our industrial agenda?

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Ian Allinson for Unite General Secretary hits the road

Nominations open on Monday and the campaign is hotting up. Here are details of how to nominate Ian Allinson for Unite General Secretary.

Ian will be on the picket line at his workplace 7-10am on Thursday 12th, Friday 13th and Monday 16th January as part of the strike for pay, pensions and job security at Fujitsu. The picket is at Fujitsu, Central Park, Northampton Road, Manchester, M40 5BP. There’s more information on the dispute online.

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Organising needs experimentation and sharing lessons

Lots of small fish turn on big fish

Ian Allinson, the grassroots socialist candidate for Unite General Secretary, argues that the union needs to build on the success of its organising strategy by doing more to involve lay members, support experimentation, and share lessons and successes.

Unite’s organising has been a success, helping to stop the decline in membership and increasing members’ power to win in many workplaces. But our efforts have not yet been sufficient to turn the tide or prevent the balance of power being tilted massively against workers, who generally face downward pressure on pay and benefits, and feel vulnerable to managerial whim and job insecurity at work; while housing, welfare and vital services are eroded outside work.

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Time to arrange your Unite General Secretary nomination meeting

This week Unite should be sending out letters and forms to branch secretaries to enable them to organise branch nomination meetings for General Secretary and the Executive Council. Where a branch covers more than one workplace, the workplace can also make a nomination, but the rep needs to contact the Regional Secretary to request the necessary paperwork now.

Nomination meetings must take place between Monday 16 January and Friday 17 February 2017.

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Oppose scapegoating of migrant workers – unity is strength

Mug reads "controls on immigration: I'm voting Labour"

Ian Allinson, the grassroots socialist candidate for Unite General Secretary, argues that McCluskey’s fudge on free movement stops him effectively defending members from the damage caused by Coyne’s attack on workers’ rights to free movement and equal treatment.

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Members need Unite structures which help seize the opportunities

Ian Allinson, the grassroots socialist candidate for Unite General Secretary, explains how Unite’s structures reflect the past and managerial convenience, not members’ current needs and organising opportunities, and pledges to involve members, officers and staff in a major review if he is elected.

Unite’s current structures are not fit for purpose. A large proportion of power and resources lie within regions, but this structure doesn’t fit the reality of members’ employment and how we need the union to support us. The structure reflects the history of Unite’s constituent unions, the compromises made during mergers, and managerial convenience. The Rules Conference process is effective for tweaking the structure, but a review is required to bring forward coherent proposals for more fundamental changes.

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Will Unite break its own election rules?

Ian Allinson, the grassroots socialist candidate for Unite General Secretary, is calling on Unite to stick to its own election rules, and on Len McCluskey and Gerard Coyne to agree to livestreamed hustings so that members can make up their minds on the strength of the arguments about the pressing issues we face.

This General Secretary election shouldn’t even be happening. For the second time Len McCluskey has forced an early election, resulting in timing that benefits only one candidate, himself. Only he knew the election was coming, so only he was unaffected by the compressed timescale for the campaign and nominations.

Almost all the information about the election process has been removed from the Unite web site, but I was sent a copy of the ballot guidelines by email in response to a request.

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Video: Ian Allinson explains why he is standing for Unite General Secretary

While the other candidates may have huge campaign budgets, films that look like slick party political broadcasts, and friends in the media, the campaign to elect workplace activist Ian Allinson as Unite General Secretary in 2017 only has arguments and the efforts of volunteers.

This short film summarises why Ian is standing. There’s more detail here and elsewhere on this web site.

If you like what Ian has to say, please get involved, and make sure you branch and/or workplace nominates Ian Allinson between 16 January and 17 February 2017.

First Ian Allinson for Unite General Secretary leaflet

The first leaflet for the campaign to elect Ian Allinson as Unite General Secretary is now available for download.

Image of front page of ian4unite leafletWe will be getting the leaflets printed in bulk in the coming days. If you would like to order some to distribute in your own workplace, at nearby workplaces, at events etc., please fill in the form with your details, including the address to send them to and how many you need, or alternatively email ian4unite@gmail.com.

Printing and mailing out leaflets all costs money. Unlike the two establishment candidates, Ian Allinson isn’t paid from members’ subs, doesn’t have a big salary. Neither does he have rich and powerful backers. If you support the campaign, please donate. Members can donate either via www.donorbox.org/ian4unite, or by cheque payable to Ian Allinson, 11 Germain Close, Higher Blackley, Manchester, M9 0SQ. Branches can only donate after nominating. Donations will be receipted. Any member can inspect the campaign finances.