Solidarity (British trade union)
Solidarity is a United Kingdom trade union formed in late 2005 by the British National Party. It is named after the Polish trade union Solidarność, and its logo (which it has trademarked) is also inspired by that of the Polish union.
|Full name||Solidarity Union|
|Key people||Patrick Harrington|
|Office location||Edinburgh, United Kingdom|
Solidarity recruits from all industrial sectors and professions. Solidarity has already stated that it has no plans to apply for affiliation to the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and will not be bound, therefore, by agreements not to poach members from other unions.
Leadership political profileEdit
The first Union President was Adam Walker, a British National Party (BNP) member the BNP's parliamentary candidate for the Bishop Auckland constituency at the general election, and as of July 2014 the acting chairman of the BNP following the departure of Nick Griffin as leader. Walker was subsequently replaced as union President by David Kerr.
Funding for the BNP?Edit
In a 2006 report in the newspaper Wales on Sunday, John Walker, then National Treasurer for the BNP, claimed that the union was likely to contribute funds to the party:
"There probably will be a political levy at some stage to the BNP just as other unions raise money for Labour. It is quite possible and feasible that when Solidarity becomes fully functional some element of funds raised will be donated to the BNP, but that will have to be decided through consultation with the membership."
Solidarity's General Secretary Harrington, responded in a letter to the newspaper that this was Walker's "personal opinion", that the recipients of union grants would be decided directly by members, and that members could opt out of the political fund if one were to be established.
Alleged front statusEdit
Allegations that Solidarity is a BNP front organisation were first made by Searchlight magazine on the Stop the BNP website on 24 January 2006 and repeated by Barrie Clement in The Independent, 1 February 2006.
As of 31 December 2017 (the last figure filed with the Certification Office) Solidarity had a total membership of 204.
- "2017 Annual Return" (PDF). www.gov.uk. Government Certification office. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
- "BNP's Trade Union Shock". The Voice. 6 February 2006. Archived from the original on 19 July 2006.
- "Union funds BNP". Wales on Sunday. 19 February 2006. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "Letters to the editor, Sunday, 19 February, 2006". Wales on Sunday. 19 February 2006. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012.
- Alleged front group for BNP wins union status, The Independent, 1 Feb 2006 Archived 3 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine"