Are the unions abandoning Cunliffe now?

This was written before today’s presser by Cunliffe. ?I still think it asks important questions, especially as Cunliffe is going to need the unions to succeed in his leadership bid.

It would seem that the unions are a bit squeamish for a donnybrook and are hedging their bets on Cunliffe…except the Meatworkers union who are blaming me and my immense powers for David Cunliffe’s tits-for-hands leadership.

Claire Trevett reports:

Labour’s largest affiliated union has sent a warning to leader David Cunliffe not to assume it will back him again if he forces another leadership runoff following Labour’s disastrous election result.

Most EPMU delegates voted for Mr Cunliffe in last year’s leadership runoff – in which strong support from the party membership and unions carried him over the line. However, the union’s general secretary, Bill Newson, said that did not mean Mr Cunliffe would get that support again.

“I’ve seen comments that the party membership and unions will line up with David Cunliffe. People shouldn’t make assumptions based on what happened last time. Because quite a big thing happened in the meantime and it was called an election.”

He said the union would discuss its stance once the picture was clearer, and it was still possible delegates would support Mr Cunliffe if there was a contest.

It had not made a formal recommendation to its members last time, and only about 35 of its 80 delegates had voted.

Mr Cunliffe is expected to announce his intentions today after a meeting of Labour’s ruling council. He is expected to resign but could delay a decision on whether to challenge for the role again until after a review of the election is finished in December. ??

Mr Cunliffe is understood to be convinced he could win another party-wide contest – but the EPMU’s response indicates some of those unions are rethinking their position.

Other unions refused to comment and only the Meat Workers’ Union said it remained behind Mr Cunliffe.

National secretary Graham Cooke said the feedback from union members was strongly pro-Cunliffe. “They think he’s been given a very raw deal by the right-wing bloggers, Cameron Slater and commentators like Paul Henry and Mike Hosking. Everyone’s just been gunning for him.”

He said it was up to the party to decide if there was a contest, but if Mr Cunliffe was a contender he would vote for him.

The union vote counts for 20 per cent of the final tally in the leadership contest. The EPMU’s size means its delegates’ vote is worth 35 per cent of that. The members’ and caucus votes are worth 40 per cent each.

The EPMU will wait until final results are declared, because that will determine whether or not Andrew Little, their former leader will still be in parliament or not.

It is no surprise the Meatworkers Union is backing Cunliffe, they like to hide members funds in secret trusts too.

David Cunliffe thought he could stare down the caucus because he had union and member backing.

i’m not so sure he has either anymore.

As the reality of the magnitude of their loss and the intransigence of David Cunliffe becomes more apparent the members will fall by the wayside.

David Cunliffe is showing now, to the public and members, his true self, and it isn’t a pretty picture. The facade is gone and the true David Cunlife is revealed.

His support is ebbing away.


– NZ Herald