Today's top story is...Unite action call to fight rising prices

GS Sharon Graham responds to ONS inflation stats

Reading time: 4 min

Big story today from Unite – general secretary Sharon Graham demands politicians act to protect working people from the continued price hikes.

The call follows today’s figures from the ONS which showed (RPI-measured) inflation rose to 9.1 per cent.

The Bank of England’s own survey analysis has highlighted that 45 per cent of companies admitted planning to increase their profit margins over the next 12 months.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “It’s time for the Bank of England and their cheerleaders in Westminster to accept the conclusions of the Bank’s own research and back what Unite has said for months.

“The threat of persistent inflation actually comes from firms boosting their profit margins – not workers fighting to protect their living standards.

“It is time for our politicians to finally act against this flagrant profiteering and start taxing excess profits. This would put a finger in the eye of greedflation and provide real help for workers struggling through needless price hikes.”

Unite launches major steel campaign

This afternoon, September 20, Unite will launch a major new campaign in steel towns Sheffield and Scunthorpe with local voters, demanding politicians reverse the decline in the steel industry.

To launch the campaign, Unite has commissioned local newspaper adverts and eye-catching static and digital billboards asking whose side politicians, such as Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer, are on when it comes to the steel industry and the jobs it supports.

Underpinning the campaign, Unite has set out a Workers’ Plan for Steel making key demands that if delivered would make Britain a world leader in steel production.

The grassroots campaign will focus on engaging with communities that depend on steel to build pressure on politicians to pledge support for measures that would safeguard existing employment and create thousands of new decent jobs for generations to come.

A team of Unite organisers is now working full time in both towns to explain the plan to voters and ask them to join in Unite’s demand that politicians commit to four pledges.

The four pledges are:

1. Change procurement rules to let UK public contracts use 100 per cent UK steel. This alone can create 8,000 jobs;

2. Public investment for a Steelworkers’ Transition Plan with NO loss of jobs. Phased workers’ transition to Green Steel – while doubling capacity to rebuild our industry and grow jobs. The investment needed is £1 billion per year over 12 years and it will pay for itself with increased revenue;

3. Tackle energy prices. Bring in electricity price caps and public ownership of the grid to make our steel even more competitive.

4. Take a stake. No more money for nothing. Public investment for steel must come with solid job guarantees.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said; “Our steel industry can have a bright future but the time to fight for it is now. Unite’s campaign will ensure that politicians of all stripes cannot wriggle free from the critical action needed to save the industry with warm words that never amount to anything.”

Compiled by Amanda Campbell