2019 09 – Unite union on Tom Watson

Unite Branch SE/6246 Motion: Statement by Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, threatening Jennie Formby, General Secretary of the Labour Party.

Motions adopted by Unite Branch SE/6246.

This branch notes the claims made by Tom Watson during his televised interview on ITV’s ‘Good Morning Britain’ programme on 12th September 2018. It also notes Tom Watson’s direct threat to Jennie Formby in her position as General Secretary of the Labour Party.

This branch unreservedly rejects Mr Watson’s claims as divisive, deceitful and dishonest.

1. This branch demands he withdraw his remarks and issue a public apology to the General Secretary for his threats and damage to her reputation as a result of his unwarranted criticism.

2. This branch calls on the trade union and labour movement at all levels to rebuke him for these remarks and defend the General Secretary of the Labour Party against such criticism.

3. This branch further calls on Unite SE Regional Office to send a letter of support to the General Secretary of the Labour Party acknowledging her work in producing long awaited proposals for the revision of Labour Party disciplinary processes and for the introduction of the Labour Party Code on Antisemitism.

Resolution passed unanimously 18. 9. 2018, for circulation.

Signed Ian Harrison, Branch Chair.

Unite Branch SE/6246 Motion on Chris Williamson.

This branch notes:

The suspension of Chris Williamson MP for derby North.

That the allegation that Chris Williamson is downplaying anti-Semitism is totally unfounded.

Chris Williamson MP said: “The party that has done more to stand up to racism is now being demonised as a racist, bigoted party. I have got to say, I think our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my opinion…we’ve backed off far too much, we have given too much ground, we’ve been too apologetic… We’ve done more to address the scourge of antisemitism than any other party.”

Chris Williamson’s comments are clearly neither anti-Semitic, nor denying the existence of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

Chris is a target because he is one of the very few Labour MPS who has openly stood up to the witch-hunt of Corbyn supporters and because he has campaigned tirelessly for the much-needed democratisation of the party.

Despite the departure of Ian McNicolas General Secretary, the witch-hunt of left leaning party members continues. The main target of this campaign is Jeremy Corbyn himself. But thousands of Labour Party members have been investigated, suspended and/or expelled on often spurious grounds-like Chris Williamson, they are collateral damage in this campaign to remove Corbyn.

This branch therefore resolves to:

Write to Jennie Formby, the General secretary of the Labour Party and the Labour Party NEC with a copy of this motion outlining our dismay at this decision.

Write to Len McClusky, General secretary of Unite and the Unite NEC with a copy of this motion outlining our dismay at this decision.

Invite Chris Williamson to a local rally/meeting in support of his reinstatement

seek an assurance from the National executive of Unite that it will:

1) Campaign for the full implementation of the Charabarti report to ensure its members (and members of other trade unions) who are also members of the Labour Party are afforded the vital legal principles of due process (natural justice) and proportionality and protection against malicious complaints.

2) campaign for the Labour Party to replace the existing ‘Compliance Unit’ with a new system for the investigation and management of complaints based on the Chakrbarti proposals.

3) Campaign to reverse the decision of the NEC of the Labour Party to adopt the disputed ‘definition of anti-Semitism’ published by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), which conflates anti-Semitism with criticism of Israel.

4) Reaffirm its support for the rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to speak out against Israeli racism and apartheid.

Work to arrange a screening of the ”Witchhunt” documentary for members of the Trades Council and trade unionists as soon as practicable. (https://witchhuntfilm.org)

Write a letter of support to Chris Williamson MP (chris.williamson.mp@parliament.uk)

Forward the motion to the Trades Council(s) for consideration of adoption at the next meeting.

Motion passed unanimously on 19. 3.2019.

Signed Ben Armstrong, Branch Secretary. Ian Harrison, Branch Chair.

Unite Branch SE/6246 Motion in support of Alex Braithwaite.

Unite Branch SE/6246, an affiliate branch of Hove CLP, is outraged by the suspension by the Labour Party of Alex Braithwaite, a lifelong anti-racist, Unite Community member and the only Black woman standing in the local council elections. Alex has been singled out and targeted by pro-Israel groups and organisations, including Sussex Friends of Israel (SFI), Labour Against Antisemitism (LAAS), the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM), the Sussex Jewish Representative Council (SJRC), the Chair of which is Vice Chair of SFI, supported by some Labour councillors and party members, regarding her views on IHRA and calling into question her integrity and commitment to promoting equality. In singling out Alex in this way and with no other prospective candidates, we regard their motives to be racist and their actions reprehensible and unacceptable.

We call for:

1. Unite to oppose the suspension and to demand it be lifted immediately.

2. Unite to demand that the Labour Party implement the proposals in the Chakrabarti report without further delay to ensure its members (and members of other trade unions) who are also members of the Labour Party are afforded the vital legal principles of due process (natural justice) proportionality, and protection against malicious complaints.

3. The Labour Party to stop using suspension as a first resort, as recommended in the Chakrabarti report.

4. Unite to demonstrate support for Alex as a union member and to assist in her election campaign.

5. Support from Unite members, other trade unionists and anti-racist comrades to continue to campaign for her election to the council.

Passed unanimously 16.4. 2019.