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by Derek Kotz
A MAJORITY of members of food workers’ union BFAWU want it to disaffiliate from Keir Starmer-led Labour, a shock poll has revealed.
The findings, to be discussed by delegates at the union’s conference tomorrow, show a distinct turn away from the party under its current leadership, with just 7 per cent of members strongly believing that it still represents their aims and aspirations.
Prompted by calls from a number of branches to cut Labour funding, the poll reveals that only 53 per cent of BFAWU members voted Labour in the last general election and that 51 per cent felt that it no longer represented their interests.
Union president Ian Hodson, who writes on the findings in the Morning Star tomorrow, said that many members had indicated that they could not vote for a party that supported a second EU referendum — although many had also said they could not vote Tory, regardless of their position on Brexit.
While 56 per cent of members believed the union should maintain some kind of political link, 53 per cent believed that the union should no longer be affiliated to Labour.
Asked if they would vote Labour in a general election tomorrow, only 45 per cent said they would — although 60 per cent said they would be more likely to with a change in leadership.
Mr Hodson writes that the results of the survey “show how Labour have lost the support of our members and reflects the recent trend in working-class communities exposed in the local elections.”
Left Labour MP Jon Trickett called on the party to heed the BFAWU’s warning and to “reach out immediately to the union to repair what appears to be a fractured relationship.”
Mr Trickett said: “This union has been associated with Labour politics since the 19th century, its leadership has a close relationship with its members and is pioneering new and exciting techniques of recruitment.
“It is very disappointing therefore that its poll shows significant levels of disengagement with Labour’s current direction … we need to listen to messages about our policy direction, or in some cases lack of direction.
“There remain many socialists in the party who will continue to fight for a close relationship with the unions as the most representative organisations of working people.”
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