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Saying no to the politics of division

Unite GS LenMcCluskey on why Unite is marching to tell govt and Trump intolerance has no place here
Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, Thursday, July 12th, 2018


As trade unionists we stand for world peace and prosperity. We stand for equality, justice and respect.

 

As trade unionists we stand against bigotry. We stand against sexism and misogyny. We stand against racism.

 

And that’s why Unite is supporting the national Together Against Trump demonstration in London tomorrow (July 13), along with protests across the country, and why thousands of Unite members will be marching to tell this government and Donald Trump that his politics of intolerance, divide and division have no place in the UK and are totally rejected by workers and trade unionists.

 

Among those marching in London will be our steelworker members, whose jobs are threatened directly by Trump’s trade war. Yes there are imbalances and yes it’s right to help industries in trouble. But it’s not right to tear up the rules, to export your problems around the world.

 

His imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminium will do immeasurable harm to our manufacturing and steel making communities and could escalate into other sectors, such as automotive.

 

And history tells us that trade wars too often lead to shooting wars.

 

Fears and insecurities

Trump won because he played on people’s fears and insecurities. People who are fed up with austerity, who have rejected the global nature of capitalism and are looking for alternatives.

 

Yet, in return for their vote, Trump has trampled over worker and human rights and international treaties.

 

He’s withdrawn the UN Human Rights Council. He’s revoked the 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order of the previous Obama administration, which barred companies from federal contracts if they had a history of violating safety, workplace harassment or wage theft laws.

 

Unite has a proud history of fighting for safer, fairer workplaces. We march today in solidarity with our sister unions in the US who now find themselves fighting to hold on to so much of what they have secured for working people.

 

Trump has used his platform to promote far right racist organisations, such as Britain First, and has used terror attacks in the UK to justify his travel ban against Muslim countries.

 

He’s separated migrant children from their parents at the US-Mexico border and put them in cages.

 

Extreme views

Trump’s extreme views do not represent the majority of Unite members. They do not represent the majority of British people. They do not represent the progressive alternative that we seek.

 

Unite is marching because we want hope restored to politics and to our communities. That’s not done by spreading hate and division. It’s not done by a government which holds hands with a racist warmonger. It’s done through the progressive policies of Labour under Jeremy Corbyn. It’s done by speaking up for peace and sanity, for equality, decency and democracy.

 

Follow Len on Twitter @LenMcCluskey

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