LAST MONTH it was announced that the assistant certification officer had found in favour of Unite the Union. The defeated right wing candidate in the 2017 general secretary election Gerard Coyne had brought nine charges of electoral irregularities against the union.
The first charge was heard on 27th March as it was deemed the most serious. The other eight charges are to be heard at a five day hearing which is scheduled for the end of June.
The retired high court judge Jeffrey Burke QC, acting on behalf of the certification officer, rejected Coyne’s claim that the election should have been declared null and void. Coyne said the election of a general secretary in April 2017 should not have been called and that Len McCluskey continued to act as general secretary of the union after he stood down.
Unite welcomed the ruling that rejected the first complaint by Coyne and found that Unite had acted in accordance with its rules when calling last year’s general secretary election. Commenting on the ruling, a Unite spokesperson said: “Unite presumes that Mr Coyne will accept the judgement and looks forward to the election being fully upheld following June’s hearing, allowing the union to focus unhindered on the job of representing its members.”
There can be no doubt that the establishment and the mainstream media will be hoping they can smear Unite and Len McCluskey. It fits in very well with the guilt by association smear campaigns that have been conducted against Jeremy Corbyn in other arenas.
This is a critical situation for everyone on the left, and Unite members in particular.