I was surprised yesterday to receive an email informing me that:
You are receiving this email as a member of Unite the Union.
It invited me to unsuscribe from future emails from Gerard Coyne. Looking back, I now see that I received an earlier email from the Coyne campaign on 20 March. It begins:
Your union should focus on the day job – protecting you at work and fighting for better pay and conditions for our members.
But Len McCluskey has been obsessed with playing Westminster politics. That’s why he gave £225,000 of your money to Jeremy Corbyn to get him elected as Labour leader.
Now this weekend we have learned of plans to link your union Unite with far-left political faction Momentum if Len McCluskey is re-elected.
If you support me for General Secretary, I won’t let Unite become a political football. I won’t spend your money on political games.
I have been a member of AUT, NATFHE and UCU – but never Unite. It has been reported that many Labour members are receiving these emails, and that this could represent a breach of data protection legislation. I would welcome more information on this issue.
Update This article from earlier in March reports on a possible sharing of data between Coyne and a Labour mayoral candidate:
“The final decision rests there. However, Unite has been provided with overwhelming evidence that Mr Simon’s campaign and Mr Coyne’s campaign have entered into some form of a mutual support arrangement, which has included the shared use of Labour party membership data.
“The Labour party has acknowledged that this has happened, that it was unauthorised and that it should be halted.