Thursday, December 26, 2019

Trade Unions 'Snubbed' in Labor Defeat Review Led by Ed Miliband
Morning Star, UK

UNIONS have been snubbed in a review into Labour’s election defeat with the panel showing a “startling absence” of trade unionists.

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband is to spearhead the review by Labour Together — a data mining group started by MP and leadership hopeful Lisa Nandy.

The group says it wants to take in all sides and perspectives “to understand what happened in this election,” and “map out a route back to power.”

But trade unionists have criticised the selection of the panel, which largely consists of politicians and campaign figures.

Bakers’ union BFAWU general secretary Ronnie Draper told the Star he was “surprised” and “disappointed” by the absence of trade union figures involved in the review.

“The total lack of a trade union voice detracts from the extreme lost opportunity that workers could have benefited from if we had elected a Labour government,” he said.

“We definitely have greater access to workplaces and to workers which will be needed if we are to understand why workers voted Tory.”

Senior GMB officer Lisa Johnson took to Twitter to express her shock at the “startling absence of trade union presence.”

“We did some stuff, lads. Just saying,” she added.

Confirmed review panel members include Birmingham Ladywood MP Shabana Mahmood and Jo Platt, who lost her seat in the former stronghold of Leigh, Greater Manchester.

Other members include the editor of news website LabourList Sienna Rodgers and James Meadway, former economic adviser to shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

Mr Miliband announced that he will lead the review, despite having lost the 2015 general election.

The party under the former leader received fewer votes and a smaller vote share than at Labour’s recent defeat under Jeremy Corbyn.

Although a trade union representative is expected to be invited onto the panel, Bakers’ union president Ian Hodson said that a “token trade unionist and a handful of politicians” doesn’t go far enough.

“It’s in the interests of the affiliates of the party as much as it is for the politicians to know where we went wrong,” he told the Star.

Mr Hodson added that a wider scope encompassing figures from the Labour movement was required to determine why many constituencies turned blue on December 12.

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