Beating the New Labour-backed Kevin Coyne, Hicks proves that arguments about the danger of “splitting the votes” aren’t always worth listening to – in this case, the “moderate” (pro-capitalist) candidate was in third place.
Though Derek Simpson has been re-elected, it is with a radical socialist as his main competitor. Coyne didn’t exactly play it as a right-winger, it has to be said. A message has been sent to the union leadership – members want accountability and assertiveness for their money…
From the Observer:
Derek Simpson was re-elected as joint leader of Unite, the UK’s biggest trade union yesterday. Simpson beat three rivals for the post of joint general secretary of the Amicus section. He won 60,000 votes, followed by Jerry Hicks with 40,000, Kevin Coyne with 31,000 and Paul Reuter with 28,000.
Simpson, 64, will now remain in post until December next year, working alongside Tony Woodley, head of the TGWU section. Last night Simpson said he was “very pleased” with the result, adding: “This is a vindication of the policies I have been pursuing on behalf of our members, in very difficult times.”
Simpson’s opponents claimed during the campaign that he was too close to Gordon Brown and that the super-union needed a leader who would stand up more strongly for members’ interests.
Unite has given more than £13m to the Labour Party since Gordon Brown became prime minister.