YESTERDAY afternoon, a Bury Unite Commercial Branch meeting of mostly binmen in the Queen's Hotel on Bradley Lane, became one of the first Unite Branches to nominate Manchester lad, Ian Allinson, for the next General Secretary of Unite the Union.
In putting forward Mr. Allinson for the Bury branch's nomination the Branch Secretary, Brian Bamford, said that he was not so keen on 'coronations' in matters of political or union issues, and that he felt that it was important that the Unite membership get as wide a choice as possible to lead them.
Mr. Bamford made it clear that while he respected the current leader Len McCluskey he did not think it was healthy for the union to have a narrow choice of candidates.
There was some debate about if by putting Ian Allinson on the ballot paper the Bury Branch would be splitting the so-called 'left-vote', and one or two people at the meeting said 'Who's heard of Ian Allison outside of Manchester?'
Someone else claimed that Len McCluskey was a well-established experienced officer, and Mr. Allinson was a new boy on the block, so wouldn't it be better to support someone more knowledgeable?
In response it was then argued that many people hadn't heard of Jeremy Corbyn before he was elected as the Labour leader. Others thought that some officers spend too long in office, and thereby lose contact with the rank and file membership. Ian Allison, who is a convenor at Fujitsu in Manchester, is not a paid official.
The only other candidate for the General Secretary's job, Gerard Coyne, is a Unite regional officer in the Midlands.
After considering the proposals of all three candidates the meeting voted unanimously to nominate to nominate Ian Allinson for General Secretary.
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