The National Co-ordinating Committee of Unite’s United Left recommended selecting Rebecca Long-Bailey for leader and Richard Burgon for deputy leader in the Labour Party leadership election at its meeting on 18 January.
Jim Kelly, United Left Chair, said:
“The NCC today called for support for Rebecca & Richard. Both candidates have solid trade union credentials, and a history of support for working class struggles”.
The UL NCC believes both are best placed to continue to build socialist policies in the Labour Party and hold the Tories to account in the struggles ahead”
See the letter Rebecca Long-Bailey has written to Unite members about her candidacy.
“Dear Sisters and Brothers,
“I am a trade unionist, a socialist and a lifelong Unite member who understands that trade unions are the lifeblood of our party and at the heart of our path back to power. They are our party’s living link to organised working-class communities up and down our country.
“I didn’t see myself as the kind of person who could ever become an MP. It was Unite, my trade union, that gave strength and background to my values, helped me realise my potential, and encouraged me.
“Unite’s future candidates programme helped me navigate the convoluted process of becoming a candidate and more importantly gave me friendships and a base of moral support which I will treasure forever.
“We don’t want to go back to the days where unions played second fiddle to Westminster cliques in our party. Industrial and community organising side by side, of the kind pioneered by Unite, is central to my plan to rebuild trust in the communities we lost, unite all our heartlands and persuade people that a different and more decent economy and way of life is possible.
“Our unions also provide specialist knowledge of workplaces and every corner of our economy. Yes, they can tell us what exploitative practices need rooting out and the ways in which bad bosses seek to undermine people’s pay, conditions and rights.
“But they can also help us design the industrial policy and strategy of the future.
“Throughout my time in Parliament I have been arguing that we need to put Britain at the head of the world in tackling the climate crisis with a Green Industrial Revolution that can revive and restore pride to forgotten communities and use the talent and potential that goes wasted under Tory misrule to prepare for the challenges of the future.
“Trade Unions have given me essential insights into how this can be made credible, detailed and relevant to people. And they have helped me design policies that ensure a just transition where good jobs and industries people depend on are built on and improved, not abandoned.
“When trade unions are undermined, we all suffer for it. A new charter of rights at work to end our low-wage, low-security, threejobs-to-pay-the-rent economy is essential, but it will take power in the hands of working people, exercised through our unions, to safeguard such rights.
To achieve this we have to win the next general election. I never want to feel like I did on December 13th ever again. I know there are things we need to improve, but I also know we cannot go back to the business as usual politics that is failing across the world.
My values were forged in the trade union movement and in a working-class community that has a strong sense of solidarity and compassion, where we always stick up for ourselves. It is those values that I want to use to bring people together as Leader of the Labour Party, take on the tax-dodging, wealth-extracting polluting elites that have ripped the decency out of our politics, and build in its place a new economy based on human flourishing, where wealth and power sits in the hands of communities in every corner of our country.
I hope you will support me.