Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Brighton and Hove trade unions "are moving away from Labour"
A Brighton and Hove trade union representative claims workers are moving away from the Labour party as members ask “what have they ever done for us?”
For more than a century, the fortunes of the two groups have been entwined as they fight for the rights of working people.
But, after the GMB slashed its affiliation funds to the national Labour party last week, decades of close collaboration now appears to be nearing an end.
With Labour in Brighton and Hove traditionally reliant on trade union funding to fuel their election campaigns, some have claimed it puts the party in a “potentially difficult position” as they look to reclaim the city council and three parliamentary seats.
But those standing for the party say they will carry on campaigning undeterred.
Alex Knutsen, of Brighton and Hove Unison, said: “Within my branch there’s certainly a view that trade unions are moving away from Labour.
“What has the Labour party done for us?’ is the bottom line I am getting from members.”
The comments come as GMB announced it was slashing funding to the party from £1.2 million to £150,000.
At the 2010 election, the GMB, alongside the Co-operative Party, was the major supporter of Labour’s three parliamentary candidates donating thousands of pounds.
Since June 2010, figures from the Electoral Commission show the union has donated £4,270 to Labour in the city.
Of more than £30,000 in donations the watchdog had registered, only £6,750 was from non-union sources.
Mark Turner, of the Brighton and Hove GMB branch, said he was not able to comment on the announcement adding donation decisions were taken at a national and regional level.
Mr Knutsen said there was a similar set-up with Unison although locally only affiliated funds from 700 of its 4,300 members went to Labour. The rest goes into a pot to support campaigns the union supports.
Labour councillor Warren Morgan said: “We have proven in our two recent by-election victories that Labour can win with good candidates, strong campaigns and the support of our one and a half thousand local members.”
Comments are closed on this article.