Straits Times: New party: Nov. 3 or sooner

THE executive council of the Army Civil Service Union decided yesterday that the inaugural meeting of the Singapore Workers’ Party – which it is sponsoring – should be held not later than Nov. 2.

The president of the 17,000 strong ACSU, Mr. N.S.N. Nair, who is also convenor of the party, told the Straits Times that members of more than 100 trade unions would attend the meeting – but as individuals not as union representatives.

“Plans for the meeting have been finalised. We are going ahead with them,” he said.

The party’s draft constitution, which originally stated that membership would be confined exclusively to trade unionists, is to be amended to include non-unionists.

Mr. Nair said that the plan would be to open one-third of the party’s membership to non-unionists.

Marshall’s plan

He called on all non-unionists interested in the party to attend the meeting.

He explained that the target date for the inaugural meeting was Nov. 3, but if circumstances permitted it would be held earlier.

Three weeks ago, the High Court granted an interlocutory junction restraining the Registrar of Trade Unions from taking action against ACSU on the ground of its participation in forming a political party, so long as such participation was lawful.

Earlier, the union served a writ on the Registrar, who threatened action against the union in connection with the formation of the party.

A proposal to form the party was first made by the union’s legal adviser, Mr. David Marshall, at its annual conference in June.

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