A $50,000 donation from the Victorian branch of the Electrical Trades Union has boosted the Victorian Socialists campaign to elect Stephen Jolly to the Victorian parliament at the November state election.

ETU Victorian secretary Troy Gray told the Age that his union was supporting the campaign because Jolly has “been a tremendous advocate for working people and the disadvantaged for many years; his reputation in that area is second to none”.

Responding to confirmation of the ETU donation, Jolly told Red Flag, “We are very grateful to Troy Gray and the ETU for this generous show of solidarity. Support like this will make a big difference to how much impact the socialist message will have in the upcoming election”.

It has been 70 years since a non-ALP socialist has been elected to a state or federal parliament in Australia. In recent years, progressive voters have had to choose between a Labor Party that has advocated little but a watered down version of the Liberal Party’s pro-corporate agenda, and a Greens party that has little orientation to working class politics or the unions.

The Victorian Socialists aim to provide an alternative to Labor and the Greens, which will inject socialist politics into the electoral arena in November.

The ETU donation follows pledges of support from other unions, including the United Firefighters and the Victorian Allied Health Professionals Association.

Jolly addressed a meeting of the Victorian Trades Hall Council on 4 May. He outlined the advantages to the union movement of electing a socialist who will take an uncompromising stand in defence of workers’ rights and trade unionism.

The different socialist organisations and individuals involved in the Victorian Socialists marched as a united contingent at the May Day rally in Melbourne on Sunday 6 May and at the Trades Hall Change the Rules demonstration on Wednesday 9 May.

The first Victorian Socialists volunteer training day will take place at Trades Hall (54 Victoria St, Carlton), from 2pm on Sunday 20 May. 

To find out more or sign up to the campaign, visit wwwvictoriansocialists.org.au.