Letter: Union leaders must listen to members

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Sir: Your leading article "Speak for yourself, Bill" (23 January) was most welcome. I am a member of the TGWU and listened with growing irritation to the interview with Bill Morris on the Saturday edition of the Today programme. This is not the first time that I have been informed by the leadership of my union what I am thinking or what I ought to think. During the campaign for the leadership of the Labour Party last year, I, together with all the other political levy paying members, received a printed message from the Executive Committee with our ballot papers, which made it plain who the Executive felt we should cast our votes for. A majority of us chose to ignore its advice on that occasion and voted for Tony Blair.

Perhaps that is why this time there do not appear to be any plans afoot to ascertain the view of the membership of the union as a whole.

Yours faithfully, PHILIPPA LANGTON London, N7

23 January