Len McCluskey
Len McCluskey is the General Secretary of the British and Irish union Unite
Unite the Union
Unite – the Union, known as Unite, is a British and Irish trade union, formed on 1 May 2007, by the merger of Amicus and the Transport and General Workers' Union...

 and a former Liverpool dock worker.

Early life

McCluskey was born in the Liverpool docklands
Port of Liverpool
The Port of Liverpool is the name for the enclosed 7.5 mile dock system that runs from Brunswick Dock in Liverpool to Seaforth Dock, Seaforth, on the east side of the River Mersey and the Birkenhead Docks between Birkenhead and Wallasey on the west side of the river...

. and went to Cardinal Godfrey school in Anfield. During his teenage years he went to work for the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company
Mersey Docks and Harbour Company
The Mersey Docks and Harbour Company , formerly the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board , owns and administers the dock facilities of the Port of Liverpool, on the River Mersey, England...

 and remained there for the next 11 years.

He has been a trade unionist since 1968, when he was a dock worker in Liverpool. He became a shop steward aged 19, and was a campaign organiser for the TGWU in Merseyside during the 1980s after becoming an officer of the union in 1979. He supported Liverpool Militant during the 1980s, but was not a member. He has been a member of the Labour Party (UK)
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 since 1970.

Trade Union career

He became the national secretary for the TGWU's General Workers group in 1990, and moved to London to work in the union headquarters. He became the TGWU's national organiser for the service industries in 2004. Before being elected as general secretary of Unite in November 2010, he was Unite's assistant general secretary for industrial strategy. He self-defines as being on the left of the union, and has been given the label "Red Len" due to his involvement in Unite's dispute with BA.

McCluskey was elected on 21 November 2010 as general secretary of Unite to replace the joint general secretaries Derek Simpson
Derek Simpson (trade unionist)
Derek Simpson is the former Joint General Secretary of the UK's biggest private-sector trade union, Unite from 2007 until 2010. He was General Secretary of the Amicus trade union from 2002 until its merger with the Transport and General Workers' Union to form Unite in 2007.-Early life:Derek...

 and Tony Woodley
Tony Woodley
Anthony Woodley is a British trade unionist who was the Joint-General Secretary of the Unite union which was formed through the merger of Amicus and the Transport and General Workers Union in 2007...

. Simpson retired in December 2010, and Woodley was scheduled to retire in December 2011. It was intended that the winner of the 2010 General Secretary would work alongside Tony Woodley as "general secretary designate" until then. However, Tony Woodley offered his resignation as General Secretary, effective from January 31, 2011, at which point Len McCluskey became General Secretary in his own right.

Len McCluskey received 101,000 votes on a 15% turnout, ahead of Jerry Hicks (52,000 votes), Les Bayliss (46,000 votes) and Gail Cartmail (39,000 votes). He has said that he will serve a single five-year term.

External links

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