Rank and file activist Jerry Hicks has been confirmed as the only challenger in the race to become general secretary of the Unite union. The nomination period closed last week.
Jerry received well over 100 nominations from Unite branches and workplaces, guaranteeing that there would be a choice on the ballot paper.
Many activists had feared that the breakneck timetable on which current general secretary Len McCluskey had called the election would make this impossible.
Jerry told members to “expect the unexpected” in a campaign that is already going badly for the incumbent.
“It is like David versus Goliath, and they tell me that Goliath lost,” he said.
McCluskey got nine times as many nominations as Jerry the last time they faced off in 2010—but less than twice his vote. Jerry says this shows how much McCluskey’s support is concentrated in the union’s unelected officials.
“I issue a challenge to Len McCluskey to set up regional hustings so that Unite members can hear what the two candidates had to offer.”
Jerry has been speaking at meetings across Britain to take that message to Unite’s members in time for the ballot, which will run from 18 March to 14 April.
“There will be a straight choice before our members,” said Jerry. “I offer more member control, more democracy, more co-ordinated action against the employers and austerity”
Invite Jerry to a meeting at firstname.lastname@example.org