On 16th July over 200 Unite activists were at a meeting in Friends’ House in Euston. Derek Simpson was there to speak about the new union. I don’t think he was expecting such a large turnout and such a vocal audience. There were Unite members present from various sectors – NHS, engineering, banking, construction and the public sector (who had been on strike that day).
Derek told us about the merger and how great it was. We were now the biggest union in the UK, and the most powerful. The bosses would be really scared of us and Gordon would have to do as he was told. We could even re claim New Labour as a real workers’ party. Eventually it was question time. There were many questions from the floor, many of which made Derek very angry. He spat out the dummy quite a few times. There were questions and discussion on the anti-trade union laws, secondary picketing, Iraq, funding of the Labour Party - a wide range of topics very important to us socialists and rank and file trade unionists. Apparently Derek will be touring the country in the coming months. Dates and places of future meetings have not been revealed yet. Perhaps Derek doesn’t want another tongue lashing like he got in London. A very successful meeting, all in all. It makes our joint General Secretaries aware that they are indeed accountable to their members.