Wednesday, April 26, 2006

To secure for workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their labour

There comes a point in life when you have to read your Union rule book. I have been in a number of unions over the year's as I have changed employment: NUPE, the Halifax Staff Association, APEX, MSF and GMB, and it is important to understand how the structures work. Although I have been in the GMB for 4 years now, I had never felt the pressing need to study the constitution, but I recently decided to give it a go.

Imagine my surprise when under Rule 2.10, Objects of the Union, it says:

"To secure the return of members to parliament and public authorities who will support the policies of the union and further the interests of members through political means, provided the candidates are pledged to collective ownership, under democratic control, of the means of production, distribution and exchange" [My emphasis]

Now in fact the GMB stumps up hefty amounts of cash for the Labour Party in elections. The Labour Party, since the removal of Clause IV, no longer shares these aims, and the GMB's money is spent by the Labour Party as it sees fit, and not only in furtherance of candidates who meet rule 2.10 of the GMB constitution.

The question is therefore, have all the GMB's contributions to the Labour party since Clause IV was abolished been unconstitutional, and ultra vires?

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