Statement by International Socialist Alternative supporters in Unite

Serious questions for Unite the Union general secretary candidates

The forthcoming general secretary election in Unite the Union coincides with a turning point in the global class struggle. The 12,000 job loses at British Airways are a taste of the future as the bosses try to make working people pay for the Covid crisis and the world economic downturn. This places huge demands on our union and huge responsibilities on its leadership. One of our members, Danny Hoggan, is running for an NEC seat to contribute to building the necessary fightback.


Danny Hoggan with striking Woolwich Ferry workers


It is essential that there is one left general secretary candidate on the best possible programme, as the right across the union movement will seek to use the ‘Starmer moment’ to push back the left including in Unite. We present here what we believe are the biggest questions facing our union, which we address to all prospective candidates seeking support, and the answers to these will determine our view of who ought to run the whole way and be supported by the left as a whole.


Dear potential candidate, as general secretary how would you seek to:


  • Develop industrial action by Unite members and build solidarity with those banned from action under the anti-union laws?

  • Strengthen support to the workplace branches of our union, which ought to be the bedrock of our union’s internal life?

  • Defend and extend the Left ideas proposed by and under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party?

  • Unconditionally support the policy of mandatory reselection of Labour MPs by their constituency parties, within the Labour Party?

  • Develop coordinated action across disputes and sectors within our union?

  • Develop a concrete programme of action as well as policy to defend manufacturing?

  • Mobilise a trade union response to sectarian divisions, racist or bigoted attacks and all forms of oppression?