UNITED LEFT is a broad left organisation open only to Unite members. We are lay member led and bring together Unite lay members, shop stewards, union activists, convenors and Full Time Officers and staff in a network of left debate and action across sectors, regions and nations.
Our history is a long and proud one; formed by the broad left organisations in many of our predecessor unions coming together in strength and in unity to promote socialist debate and organisation in Unite.
We are not a cabal or a clandestine organisation but are open and proud of our stature and influence at all levels within Unite.
We are not aligned to any political party or faction, but we come together as socialists, committed to the cause of labour.
We strive for a Union which:-
- Is democratic and lay member led
- Puts equality at the heart of all we do and treats its members with respect, ensuring equality and diversity in representation at all levels of the union.
- Has UL members elected to key positions in our Union to ensure our union is led by socialists.
- Supports all workers involved in struggle and provides essential advice and guidance to achieve victory
- Works with unions and other organisations in Europe and globally to take on multinational capital and provide international solidarity
We are socialists. We think that working people collectively must be in the driving seat, in control of the state, to create a society for the many and not the few.
We want a campaigning union that has a clear political voice, in the Labour Party and beyond, demanding the changes needed to give working class people and their families a better deal and a more secure future.
In England, Scotland and Wales, we want to be a leading force in the Labour Party and ensure there is a left / trade union emphasis in policy and debate. The slide to the right has only highlighted the need for Unite leadership in the Party. Without Unite there is no balance or leadership. This has enabled the right wing trade unions to act without any challenge or accountability.
We work to overcome inequality through campaigning in the workplace and our communities for:
- An economy planned by and in the interests of working people,
- The reindustrialisation of areas laid waste by capitalism’s off-shoring of industry with a Green New Deal and a just transition for workers.
- High quality public services in public ownership (buses, rail, water, energy, NHS, education etc), backed up by municipal socialism (council houses, public transport, social care etc).
- A strong welfare state funded through progressive taxation in which corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share
- Equality for all, in the workplace, in the union and in society
We organise in the equality strands, sectors, community, regions and nations, and we come together at a UK and Ireland level.
We continually learn lessons on organisation. We will ensure that lay United Left members are at the helm of all future campaigns and that we encourage the largest participation of all members in our democracy. We will effectively organise and co-ordinate our campaigning activity across UK&I.
We operate to a set of agreed standing orders and code of conduct.
Without effective organisation we will fail.
We are an organisation that respects each other’s left perspectives. We like to debate and as passionate socialists and trade unionists, we hold firm opinions. When we hold different points of view, we do so with respect and have a common understanding of one another.
Left unity is vital to our success. When the debate is done and the democratic decision reached; we abide by that decision. Failure to abide by this discipline will result in individuals placing themselves outside of the UL organisation and their membership will cease. Campaigning against a United Left candidate will also result in individuals placing themselves outside of the UL organisation and their membership will cease.
Strategy and Action
Education: An educational strategy aimed at raising political and class consciousness is central to left advancement.
- We organise Educational programmes to ensure they meet this principle
- We have political discussion at United Left Meetings, to develop understanding and create a left perspective
- We produce a regular newsletter which will promote the UL and also assist recruitment. This work will be led by one of the officers of the United Left.
- We identify left lay activists and left officers, staff and organisers to join the United Left and encourage their participation at meetings.
- We support the principle that all new officers appointments should be made by the Executive Council
- We encourage new young UL activists to take on key roles within the union
Management of the Union
- We support our elected General Secretary and seek to influence them in the same way we have done with previous GSs.
- We will engage positively in debate, seeking to be supportive but also offering constructive alternative views where necessary.
- We organise to ensure United Left candidates are elected to represent the membership
- We have a UK&I organisation with regional and national representation which co-ordinates elections and campaigning
- We will support candidates running for election in the various constitutional committees including the Executive Council and, where Regions and Nations feel it appropriate, we will work together with likeminded groups and individuals to seek a common slate.
Our Public Voice
- We have a public voice though our members, our website and our social media
- We have a social media management policy which supports this
- We will have a network of media officers in the workplaces, equality strands, sectors, community, regions and nations who will contribute regular content to our media