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Turnout mars Unison election


Elections for the new National Executive Council of Unison, the second-largest trade union in Britain and the largest in the public services, have concluded. They reveal a problem that can’t be ignored: turnout.

For those elected for a regional seat the turnout was 6.5 per cent – a drop on average of 1.5 per cent from 2007’s appalling figures. Those elected from service groups fared slightly better – 7.8 per cent.

What credible authority do those elected have? Successful candidates really only gleaned 3 to 4 per cent of the membership.

The positive is that the self-proclaiming “left” takeover of the union has flopped. Unison at NEC level is not occupied by an ultra-left squatting in the members’ property.

The question of union democracy, of member participation, of renewal, resurgence if not survival should keep those newly elected and genuinely committed to their union and class awake at night.