Labour leader refuses to back down over plans to change link
Labour came in for a roasting at TUC yesterday after it emerged that Ed Miliband would push ahead with his plans to change the union link.
Mr Miliband is set to stick by his measures even after the GMB union cut its funding of the party by £1 million and an internal investigation cleared Unite and would-be Falkirk MP Karie Murphy of vote-rigging.
The reforms would see members of affiliated unions pay party dues individually, rather than collectively.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady urged everyone yesterday to “shake hands and move on,” but criticism of Labour continued throughout the day.
“If they (Labour) think that the trade unions and Labour airing their dirty laundry in public is going to win them the next election they’re living in cloud cuckoo land,” warned Unison general secretary Dave Prentis.
Referring to the Australian Labour Party’s defeat in elections on Saturday, Mr Prentis urged Labour to “get its act together.”
Communication Workers Union general secretary Billy Hayes cautioned that “these ideas that have been put on the table are ill-thought-out.
“To use a football analogy, there’s people who want to be supporters and want to see a Labour government but don’t want to actually join a party. We’re obviously reviewing our funding.”
Mr Hayes said that “the biggest problem with politics is that it’s posh people’s politics.
“There’s too many people in Parliament who don’t reflect the diversity of Britain today and we want to change that.”
Transport union RMT leader Bob Crow stressed that point.
“Why are there four million people with zero-hours contracts?
“What we really need is a political party that’s going to fight for working people — just like the Tories and Liberals do for big business.”