Autumn of Discontent: Trade Unions Vote to Strike at Labour Party HQ
16:25 GMT 01.09.2021 (Updated: 15:15 GMT 28.05.2023)
The Labour Party's link to the British trade union movement that helped found it in 1906 has been put under greater strain than ever since the 2019 election defeat to Boris Johnson's Tories and the suspension of left-wing former leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Members of two of Labour's biggest trade union backers have voted to strike against redundancies at the party's head office.
Super-unions Unite and GMB — boasting a combined membership of two million — reported overwhelming votes in favour of strike action over plans to lay off 90 staff at the opposition party's Westminster HQ on Wednesday.
Nine out of ten Unite members at the Victoria Street office reportedly voted in the ballot, with 78 percent of those backing a strike, while 76 percent of GMB members there voted the same way, on a 79 percent turnout. That put support for industrial action comfortably above the statutory threshold of half of all members at a workplace.
"Labour Party workers have shown the strength of their anger at this ballot result", said GMB Organiser Vaughan West. "We hope party bosses will now sit up, take notice and talk with unions so we can avoid compulsory redundancies".
— GMB Union (@GMB_union) September 1, 2021
Following the vote, the unions will meet Labour's administrative chiefs on 3 September to try and reach a compromise.
"Labour will be meeting with Unite and the GMB this Friday and both unions are hopeful that a way forward can be found that avoids any compulsory redundancies or resultant industrial action", said Unite regional officer Matt Smith.
— Unite the union: join a union (@unitetheunion) September 1, 2021