Membership of Unison 'out of step'

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(First Edition)

BRITAIN's newest and biggest union will start its first annual conference next Sunday with a highly damaging row over who is allowed to influence Labour Party policy, writes Barrie Clement.

The 1.4 million strong public service union Unison, which was formed out of a merger between Nalgo, Nupe and the health union Cohse, is to face demands from left-wingers that the full conference of the union should be able to mandate Labour Party delegations.

However, Unison's leadership argue that only those who pay into the fund affiliated to the party should be allowed to exert influence on Labour. While the Cohse and Nupe sections of Unison maintain a political fund which donates cash to the Labour Party, Nalgo's is not linked to any political party. A separate conference of Cohse and Nupe representatives was meant to meet next month to decide what policies they wanted to promote at the party conference in October.

The standing orders committee at Unison has ruled the left-wing motions out of order, but the row is virtually certain to break out on the floor of conference on Sunday.