Archive for December, 2015

Usdaw Leadership Over-rides Young Workers Committee in Labour Youth Elections

December 1, 2015 Leave a comment

Elections to the committee of the Young Labour are perhaps not something at the top of the mind of most Usdaw members. However, members will undoubtedly be suprised that Usdaw’s leadership has ignored views of it’s own Young Workers Committee and nominated two Progress supporting candidates for the chair & NEC of Labour Youth.

At a recent Usdaw Young Workers Committee meeting, those attending were told that ‘it would be inappropriate’ for them to discuss the issue. But this isn’t the only time their views on specific youth events have been bypassed. Motions to the TUC Young Workers conference which Usdaw delegates are expected to move are not written by them with consultation only on the broad subject topic. It begs the question, what is the point of having such a body if you almost totally ignore that body’s wishes?

Of course, it could be argued that the young workers committees aren’t elected. Divisional young workers committees are appointed by divisional councillors from those who put their names forward, with a national young workers committee elected from those bodies having one representative each.

But the leadership aren’t proposing any sort of change to those structures – it’s as if they want the kudos for involving young workers, but without allowing those young workers any responsibility at all.

The Activist would like to see the enhancement of democracy in the union’s youth structures. We would like to see elected young workers committees, a young workers rep on the EC (where despite the huge number of young workers in retail there isn’t a single EC member under 27) and the creation of a youth conference where policies can be discussed, including what motions are put by the union to external youth bodies (with the proviso that is doesn;t contravene ADM policy).

But the selection of two Progress supporting candidates by Usdaw’s leadership, as opposed to the left candidates favoured by the Young Workers Committee, also shows that they are part of the campaign to undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party by placing those hostile to him in positions of power.

The best way that Usdaw members can fight to stop this, is by campaigning for the passage of policy backing the platform that Corbyn was elected on at Labour Party conference and advancing the case for the democratic control and accountability we need to see to ensure Usdaw has a union leadership that fully represents its members.