The Communications Workers Union (CWU), along with other Trades Unions have a Political Fund which members recently overwhelmingly voted to retain and our voice in politics.
This years Regional Labour Conference was held at the Hilton Hotel in Blackpool on 5th/6th of November. I am pleased to say the CWU had a full delegation from the North West region, 14 people in all. A stall in the entrance of the conference hall was very successful in raising funds for CWUHA, also the appeal for toiletries and teddies for refugees was very well supported.
On the Saturday morning the conference was opened by John Healey M.P who gave an interesting speech in which he talked for a long time about the problems of the North West, a memorable quote was that 'the North West should be the Northern Powerhouse instead it is treated as the Northern outhouse' by this government.
Angela Rayner M.P. spoke on Saturday afternoon mainly about the government's current policy regarding reintroducing Grammar schools her slogan on this topic is 'don't segregate, educate'.
The speech from John McDonnell M.P. was delivered in his usual unique and enthusiastic style.
The Sunday morning comprised 2 question and answer sessions, the first session involved M.E.Ps. Afzal Khan and Theresa Griffin which centered on Brexit, the other session was with Metro Mayor candidates Andy Burnham and Steve Rotherham in which they both reiterated the importance of devolution of power to the North West and the benefits that it may bring.
The conference was closed following a speech by Jim McMahon M.P.
It was a busy 2 days but nevertheless an honour and a pleasure to represent the branch.
As a newly elected labour local councillor and CWU member I was asked by the regional committee as part of a CWU initiative to do an article on my road to becoming a councillor.
Firstly you have to be a member of the Labour party and become 'active' in the local labour party branch by helping distribute leaflets or knocking on doors at election time and generally being involved as well as attending Constituency Labour Party meetings.
When a seat becomes vacant you seek nomination or you can even nominate yourself, if there is more than one nominee you need to read out at a selection meeting a nomination statement (prepared by yourself).
If selected the candidate then needs ten signatures from residents of the ward in which they are standing, these are required for a nomination paper which is then forwarded to the returning officer for verification, as certain criteria need to be fulfilled such as the distance the candidate lives from the ward in which they are standing. You are then informed by the returning officer whether the nomination criteria has been satisfied or not. If everything is correct you can then start out on the road to getting elected ie. Campaigning usually leafleting and doorstep canvassing. In my case I was lucky enough to have a good campaign manager and team of volunteers.
I hope you find this article of some use and I wish everyone good luck who starts out on the political trail.
Political Officer CWU Lancs and Cumbria branch
I represented the Branch at The Political Briefing on Monday August 1st.
The EU Referendum (post Brexit) was discussed and the union will pursue the best deal for members following the decision to exit the EU.
It was agreed that the union's preferred candidate for the Labour Leadership election will be the current Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Andy Kerr The CWU Deputy General Secretary (Telecoms) and member of the Labour NEC made a speech in which he pledged to fight the plans to split 'open reach' from BT, he also stated that the NEC were pleased with the outcome of the court case regarding Jeremy Corbyn's right to be a candidate in the leadership election. The final hour of the meeting was a 'live' press conference at which Jeremy Corbyn made an excellent speech in which he stated that a Labour Government would renationalise both the Railways and Royal Mail although he did not mention the renationalisation of BT at this time. Following his speech he answered questions from the media in his usual professional manner.
The meeting closed at 14.00 hours with a standing ovation from the floor for Jeremy.
Mal Donoghue Political Officer
The NHShas announced the closure of Chorley A&E Department. This will mean longer journeys for residents of Chorley to get urgent care. A protest has been organised for 11th June. Details HERE.
Head Office have released LTB677. There should have been an attachment to this letter but for technical reasons is not available.
The National Executive Council has today discussed the forthcoming Labour Party Leader and Deputy Leader election.
Following an extensive debate the NEC agreed to nominate and recommend to members that they vote for Jeremy Corbyn MP, for Leader of the Labour Party.
In making this decision the NEC agreed the following rationale:-
1. A belief that if the party needs a fundamental change of direction away from the new Labour era, then Jeremy Corbyn MP is the most likely candidate to assist this process. That there is a need to finally loosen the grip of Blair and Mandelson's market driven politics on the Party. This is the single most important issue in this election.
2. That Jeremy Corbyn MP has consistently been the most aligned candidate to existing CWU policy, ranging from opposition to Royal Mail privatisation, unfair competition and closing the loophole on agency workers, to wider issues such as the anti trade union laws, equality and opposition to the Government's austerity programme.
3. That a Jeremy Corbyn victory is the most likely way to force a proper debate on an alternative to the Government's austerity programme and the need for Labour to seriously challenge the Government's anti trade union laws.
4. That the union rejects the notion that what Labour needs to do is move back to the centre ground of British politics. That this is a recipe for more of the same and is focused on the need to gain power, rather than the policies we believe in - and what is in the best interest of the people we represent. The real debate is for Labour to redefine what the centre ground of British politics should stand for with policies that bring about fairer wealth distribution, create decent jobs, terms and conditions for workers, remove inequality and provide substantially more affordable housing for working people. There was a time when this type of agenda would have been seen pretty much as the centre ground, not an extreme left wing agenda. This is the challenge for Labour.
The NEC further agreed that Andy Burnham MP would receive the union's recommendation as second preference in the transferable voting process.
In respect of the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party election, the NEC agreed to nominate and recommend to members that they vote for Angela Eagle MP. The NEC further agreed that Caroline Flint MP receive the union's recommendation as second preference in the transferable voting process.
A press release outlining the NEC's decisions was issued this afternoon and this is below for your information.
Branches are reminded that only Political Fund paying members who have registered as Labour Party 'affiliated supporters' will get a vote in this election.
Therefore, it is important that branches publicise to political fund paying members that they must register to vote on-line by 12th August 2015. This can be done by the using the following link.
Full details of the CWU 'Sign-up Campaign' can be accessed through the CWU website
Political Fund paying members who register as an 'affiliated supporter' will receive their ballot papers from 14th August 2015 onwards - either by email or in the post.
Members should be strongly encouraged to vote for Jeremy Corbyn MP as Leader of the Labour Party and Angela Eagle MP as Deputy Leader.
If you have any enquiries on this LTB, these should be addressed to the General Secretary's Office at email@example.com quoting the reference GS14.0/LTB 501/15.
Immediate release: 30.07.15
CWU backs Jeremy Corbyn for Labour leader
The Communication Workers Union is today (Thursday) announcing its endorsement of Jeremy Corbyn MP to be the next leader of the UK Labour.
Please see here for a video of Dave Ward announcing the decision: http://youtu.be/W_b3Vh-EkSg
Speaking after the decision, the General Secretary of the CWU, Dave Ward, said:
"I am delighted to announce that the CWU will be backing Jeremy Corbyn MP to be the next leader of the Labour Party.
"There are no quick fixes for the Labour party, but there are some easy decisions and choosing Jeremy as its leader should be one of them.
"We think that it is time for a change for Labour. The grip of the Blairites and individuals like Peter Mandelson must now be loosened once and for all. There is a virus within the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn is the antidote.
"We reject the notion that Labour needs to move to the centre ground of British politics. The Centre ground has moved significantly to the right in recent years. We do not see arguing for fairer wealth distribution, decent jobs with good pay, terms and conditions and a substantial increase in affordable housing for the next generation as a left wing agenda.
"Jeremy agrees with the vast amount of CWU policy, ranging from opposing the selling off of Royal Mail, to offering a real alternative to austerity, and repealing anti-trade union laws.
Notes to editors:
The CWU will be also recommending that members vote for Andy Burnham as their second preference in the leadership election.
In the Deputy Leadership Election the CWU will be recommending that members vote for Angela Eagle as first preference and to vote Caroline Flint as their second preference.
The CWU is affiliated to the Labour Party and represents workers in post, telecoms, mobile, and financial services companies including BT, Capita, EE, O2, Parcelforce, the Post Office, Royal Mail, Santander and UK Mail.
For more information please contact:
James Mills, Press Officer, mobile: 0779 3314249, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org