Left sources say the Victorian Socialist Left general meeting of faction members today at Trades Hall emphatically approved the Left-Right preselection stability deal.Â Observers say it was the best attended SL meeting in living memory, with every seat in the large venue occupied by a Lefty bum of some kind.
Some four hundred Lefties crammed into the hot and sticky Trades Hall meeting room and enjoyed a couple of hours of festive debate.
fifteen nine (counted by SL Secretary Andrew Giles) sweaty comrades, principally from the rank ranks of the construction division of the CFMEU voted against the resolution, with the remainder endorsing the proposal backed by Leftist leaders Kim Carr and Alan Griffin.
Most noteworthy was the voting behaviour of the large number of AMWU officials present. The vast majority of them voted for the stability pact.
Pugnacious lefty Peter Holding supported the peace deal, even going so far as quoting from Senator David Feeney’s recent letter to Labor Unity members to justify the arrangement. Clearly not a lot of love for Feeney in the socialist paradise. His supporters would argue this was a case of the devil quoting scripture.
The result is an important part of bedding down the arrangement that governs the next two rounds of ALP preselections in Victoria.
The NUW and SDA – prominent Right unions – are believed to have been pursuing an arrangement with Left unions including the construction part of the CFMEU that would have had them voting together. If the Left rebels are in a position to only deliver the CFMEU, it seems likely the Left-Right stability deal will stand.
NUW sources tell VEXNEWS they remain intent on pursuing an arrangement with Dean Mighell and his supporters, the CFMEU and as many of the POSC votes from the AMWU as Victorian state secretary Steve Dargavel can deliver. If they could pull this off, it would be around 15 votes on the POSC, sources say. Today’s vote suggests that within the SL itself, the only people actively resisting the deal are the CFMEU Construction folk. That can’t be a good sign for those intent on replacing the stability deal with an alternative “Union Alliance”.