Following revelations that Labour Party Conference organisers have accepted Rupert Murdoch’s cash while refusing union money, The Daily can reveal that the Leader’s Reception is being sponsored by ASDA.
Blair’s personal sponsorship from the controversial supermarket chain, owned by US corporation Wal-Mart, is likely to antagonise trade unions, environmentalists and international development campaigners.
The event is being hosted in the UNISON marquee, but it is unclear whether UNISON were aware of the sponsorship deal. The GMB has spent much of the year locked in a bitter row with the union-busting firm and Wal-Mart has a long record of anti-union activity.
The GMB defeated ASDA due to the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003, legislation introduced by the Labour government making it illegal for employment agencies to provide blackleg labour during a strike.
The regulation got no press coverage but is a significant step forward for the labour movement. Perhaps Blair should have mentioned it in his TUC speech. Instead, he seems determined to put himself on the other side of the argument.