The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union has issued the following statement (see here for the original on their website). We very much hope other Labour-affiliated trade unions will do the same, and are working with supporters in a variety of unions to promote the campaign in the labour movement.
The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union opposes the expulsion of socialists from the Labour Party; including the eight comrades expelled because of their association with the socialist organisation, Workers’ Liberty. We believe in a democratic party where there is unity in action, but freedom of opinion and reasoned debate about political differences.
Many Labour Party members also support distinct political groupings within the party – on the left (eg LRC, Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, Momentum); on the right (eg Labour First, Progress); and in between. That is a sign of a healthy internal life and of course, the party was founded by distinct socialist organisations (Independent Labour Party, Fabians, Social Democratic Federation) working with the unions.
We have the absurd situation where members who have been active in the party for many years are being expelled out of the blue, with little due process – and for no good reason.
The party needs much more transparent and accountable structures for deciding such questions – just as it needs more democratic structures generally.
We cannot help suspect that these expulsions were motivated by the frustrations of some who were not happy with the results of the leadership election. We call on them and everyone in the party to unite behind Jeremy Corbyn in order to build up our movement and take the struggle forward.
Ronnie Draper, BFAWU general secretary, said: “We need to unite the broadest forces in the party to build a stronger labour movement that can take on and defeat the Tories. That means Labour maintaining and strengthening a democratic culture where differences can be discussed in a comradely way while we unite in campaigning. That is why we are opposing the expulsions of these comrades and calling for them to be reversed.”