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Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

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Two weeks after the TUC Unite was back in Brighton working to secure a Labour government and decent jobs for all.


To a standing ovation and loud applause Unite general secretary Len McCluskey speaking in a debate on growth and investment, said Labour had proved that political parties are not all the same.

Calling for an investment strategy of the scale needed to support the country through and beyond Brexit, he said, “We are standing on the shoulder of a giant. That giant is Labour’s manifesto 2017, the manifesto that got us our highest vote this century.

“For the first time in generations we had a manifesto that made a difference with policies that cut through to millions of voters.”


Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke demanded the UK government help save Bombardier jobs in Northern Ireland. “What is needed is to end this corporate bullying by Boeing, putting these good jobs at risk,” Tony said.


Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail calling on the government to end the public sector pay cap said, “Scrap the cap for all. No exceptions.”


Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett called for solidarity with Birmingham bin workers in their decent pay fight. Urging delegates to demand Labour councils reject Tory austerity, he said, “Each councillor and each MP must now say – not in our name, not in the name of Labour.”


Labour Party general treasurer, Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland moved the Party’s financial report. Joyce Still spoke on community nurses under austerity; Mike Hedges on an integrated affordable transport system; Kate Osborne called for international solidarity for the Palestinian and Turkish peoples; and Neelam Verma on how austerity hurts women.


Concluding the conference, leader Jeremy Corbyn’s stirring speech set out what a “Labour government in waiting” would do to transform ordinary working people’s lives, as it stands on the “threshold of power.”

After Jeremy highlighted many of Labour’s key policies, he described the winning vision that Labour members, affiliated trade unions and others crafted together in the manifesto that inspired millions to vote for the party at the last general election.

Unite’s Len McCluskey hailed the speech. “Corbyn’s Labour can and will transform our country to make it work for the many not the few,” he said.

Voting time – delegates have their say 13 uniteWORKS Autumn 2017

“Our party leaves this conference confident, united, invigorated and determined to build a better Britain.”


Unite ran a series of fringe meetings including the popular Real Britain fringe with the Mirror on the cost of Tory austerity. Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner spoke alongside a survivor of and a volunteer from Grenfell Tower. Turner also chaired a fringe on Grenfell. Other fringe discussed workers’ rights featuring Len McCluskey, Brexit, and an industrial strategy.

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