The Jewish Chronicle
Labour accused over mental health
ANGRY LABOUR staff have accused the party’s leaders of being responsible for the creation of a “mental health crisis” amongst the workforce “caused by the culture, rise in antisemitism and unsustainable workloads.”
A motion submitted to the GMB trade union, which represents the majority of Labour employees, also condemned the party’s response to last week’s BBC Panorama documentary, stating: “Antisemitism is a sickness which will spread if given the freedom to do so. It should be condemned and challenged wherever it rears its head.”
Demanding that Labour now commits itself to a position of “support for whistleblowers regardless of where they work and to always condemn attempts to label them as politically motivated”, the motion also calls for an urgent review into the party’s staff hiring process suggesting it is unacceptable that individuals are “being hired who attempt to minimise antisemitism or dismiss it as a smear.”
The GMB motion suggests: “To hire people with those views is a shocking betrayal of Labour staff, the Jewish community and Labour’s history as an anti-racist party.”
This is believed to be a reference to the decision by the party to hire Heather Mendick, a Momentum activist, in a role aimed at improving relations with the Jewish community — despite her previously saying antisemitism is being weaponised to attack Mr Corbyn.
In a motion due to be heard at a meeting on Thursday, there is also condemnation of Labour General Seceretary Jennie Formby’s use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) against the former staff members who spoke out to Panorama last week.
The motion states the need to “reaffirm our commitment to tackle antisemitism across our movement and express our solidarity with Jewish colleagues and members who have experienced antisemitism.” It adds the union will “write to the Jewish Labour Movement with a message of solidarity to send to both the former staff and the young activists featured on the programme to offer our regret at the behaviour of those who act in the name of the Labour Party and to reiterate the commitment of this branch to act as vocal and active allies in the fight against antisemitism.”
While the GMB represents the vast majority of the hundreds of staff employed by Labour, others are represented by the Unite union led by Len McCluskey, who has described antisemitism allegations as “mood music.”
When asked by the JC on Monday if Unite would be offering to support in their criticism of the way they have been treated by Labour to any of the Panorama whistleblowers who may have been members, a spokesperson for the union refused to comment citing confidentiality issues.
The spokesperson failed to respond when asked if Unite had concerns over the issues raised by the Panorama whistleblowers about working practices inside Labour HQ.
The JC has learned of another letter being circulated amongst current and former Labour staff demanding Mr Corbyn finally acts over antisemitism – or else considers his position as leader of the party.
The motion calls for an urgent review into staff hiring’ Labour staff are demanding Mr Corbyn acts over antisemitism’