Unite acknowledges the concerns which have been raised by many in Liverpool and beyond in relation to the Arms Fair being held at ACC, shortly before Unite’s own conference takes place there.
We have investigated whether it would be possible to move our Conference to another venue without incurring significant cost to Unite members. Unfortunately the venue was booked and paid for over 18 months ago, before the Arms Fair was public knowledge and there are very heavy cancellation fees built into the contract. That said, Unite will not be making further bookings at the ACC without prior consultation with the community in Liverpool.
It should also be noted that Unite has many members employed in defence-related industries, doing skilled manufacturing work. We are resolute in our support for those members and in defence of their jobs, pay and conditions.
That does not mean that we in any way endorse the use to which those arms are put by governments around the world. It is incumbent on the British government to ensure that proper ethical standards are maintained in the sale of armaments.
We understand that many find arms fairs inappropriate, particularly on premises owned by a democratic local authority. We fully support the people of Liverpool in the protests they are raising with the City Council.
By UniteLive team