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uniteWORKS Comment


Len McCluskey General Secretary

The flame of justice

Emilia Beddoes and her dad Richard make quite some team. While other teenagers of her 13 years may be chatting on social media, Emilia is helping her dad as he helps his fellow Unite refuse workers fight to win fair treatment from their employer, Birmingham city council.

Emilia has been the inspiration behind her dad, left bereft following the sudden death of his wife of 22 years, becoming more active in our union. Richard’s leadership during this dispute has been superb. That may be down to Emilia’s encouragement but I am betting too that it is also due to a fair amount of Richard's own determination to see justice done.

He, Emilia and the members need every ounce of courage and fight because this employer is not prepared to do the right thing.

The flame of justice burns in our members right across this union. It was lit in the BA mixed fleet cabin crew, fed up with lousy pay and poorer conditions, and kept glowing throughout the 85 days of strike action it took to get them a decent settlement.

Bad bosses are with us everywhere, sadly. That is why we need a strong, fearless Unite. This edition of uniteWORKS is dedicated to Bad Boss Britain.

It’s a recognition that when the Tories are in power, all too often and for too many, work just does not pay. In fact, the government is making things worse with its cruel sanctions regime and public sector pay freeze.

In-work poverty in this country is a disgrace. Working in a climate of fear is criminal. That is why our union and our members need people like Richard and the fighters at BA more than ever. They and thousands of you in workplaces across the country see a bully and march towards it.

That is what our union does. We fight back.

The working class has always had to lead change and progress in this country. And as our working world changes, and for too many gets tougher, we are called upon to do so again. But we will keep battling, because that is what a decent union does.

Keep up the fight, my friends. Because only by fighting do we stand a chance of winning.

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Pictured is Labour leader Jeremy Corbynwith Unite members by the graveside of Tolpuddle Martyr, James Hammett, at this July’s annual rally. Addressing the massed crowd later, Corbyn pledged to restore an agricultural wages board and stop the privatisation of the Forestry Commission when the next Labour government comes to power.

See page 13 BREXIT

Reps lobby over Brexit fears

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Unite East Midlands members from Rolls-Royce and Toyota lobbied MPs in October – calling for a ‘jobs first Brexit’ and certainty – so that long-term investment decisions can be made to secure their firms’ future. Unite regional officer Tony Tinley, said, “Too often throughout the Brexit process the concerns of workers have been ignored. The uncertainty at the heart of the government’s Brexit negotiations is creating widespread insecurity and confusion within both management and the workforce.”

uniteWORKS No:28 Published by Unite the union, 128 Theobalds Road, London, WC1X 8TN. Phone 0207 611 2500. Editor – Amanda Campbell Magazine enquiries and letters to the editor, by post, phone, or email Distribution enquiries contact your regional office Available in alternative formats from Taylor Humphris 020 3371 2557

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

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