22 Nov 2009

Jerry Hicks will run!

Just got the brilliant news that Jerry Hicks will run for General Secretary of Unite.

I had a meeting with Jerry a couple of weeks ago and urged him to stand, I think lots of other people have urged as well and he has taken up the call.

He is a great guy, he has really pushed the Green New Deal and green trade unionism, when he fought last year for the General Secretary post, where he beat the right to come second in a contest with Derek Simpson, he stressed his opposition to nuclear power and Heathrow expansion.

With cuts on the way and a possible tory government we need some grassroots trade union fighters and Jerry is the best.

I will be doing all I can to support his campaign, this time victory is in reach.

Dear Friends,

After careful consideration and taking into account all the excellent offers of support from every section within Unite I have decided that it would be the right decision to stand again in the election for General Secretary.
Although there is no date yet for the election it has to happen at some point next year, most likely soon after the General Election.

It is well worth reminding ourselves that our campaign last time went from strength to strength, despite being given no chance of even forcing an election.
We were then given little hope of securing enough nominations when not backed by the Gazette group (who supported Laurence Faircloth). We actually gained far more than he did and he then withdrew, which is something we had predicted but it was not given much credence at the time.

You will probably remember the detractors then went on to say that a 'vote for Jerry Hicks' would let the right wing candidate in (Kevin Coyne). Nothing of course could have been further from the truth. Not only did our campaign lead to Laurence Faircloth withdrawing we then soundly beat both Kevin Coyne and Paul Reuter at the ballot box finishing second only to the incumbent Derek Simpson.

It is my view that since that election things have got much worse, not just the economy but also the union leaderships failure to defend our members. We have also missed opportunities that have presented themselves, quick to make demands but slow to inspire or galvanise our members.

As was with the last election it is likely that all the other candidates will be senior officials of the union, indeed many have already been campaigning and not surprisingly often saying the right things. But its not what someone says its what they do that counts.

I have been a critic of Derek Simpson but truth is he has been allowed to get away with far too much with too little opposition from the same senior officials who would have us believe they should run our union. Our members deserve a better choice than simply more of the same.

Keep on keeping on, and expect the unexpected; Jerry Hicks.


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