In his 2018 address to the members of Unite, general secretary Len McCluskey has vowed that the union will stay strong and growing despite the challenges ahead.
The address is released today (January 8) to the union’s 1.4m membership confirming Unite’s strident determination to continue to fight for working people.
Despite enduring senseless austerity, a Conservative Brexit threatening jobs and rights, the march of automation and an economy that is increasingly working for the few and against the many determining much of the work of the union, Len McCluskey assures Unite’s members that they can be fully confident that the union’s entire team of officers is working flat out to safeguard their employment and deliver real improvements to pay and conditions at work.
Setting the pace
Len McCluskey tells members, “Unite is setting the pace in key areas of organising, legal and automation, driving forward minimum standards agreements, apprenticeship agreements and agreements to stop exploitation and undercutting.
“More pay. Improved job and pension security. Greater respect and at work. That is Unite – your union – getting the basics right. Putting our members first at all times. Working with employers to get the best deal so often gets results. But where it doesn’t, we have a strike fund of £35m pounds to back you up.”
McCluskey also hits out at the ‘manufactured’ row over the result of the 2017 general secretary election result saying, “I am absolutely confident that it will be found that your union upheld our rules and democratic principles, as well as the demands of the law.
“I can assure you that this manufactured row will not throw us off course.
Securing advances for members
“In 2018 more than ever Unite will, with your support and involvement, do still better in righting wrongs and securing advances for our members.”
The address to members comes ahead of the conference tomorrow (January 9) of the union’s officers and organisers. They will gather in Birmingham to set the union’s industrial and growth priorities, and hear the general secretary repeat the message that strong unions are vital for a fairer society.
Len McCluskey is expected to say a growing Unite is “not just desirable. It is vital. Vital for millions of working people to enjoy better lives. To end this decade-long pay slump. To tackle growing inequality in our society.
“We know great changes are on their way in our country,” he adds. “A progressive Labour Party is advancing, and a weak and incompetent Tory government is disintegrating.
“People in Britain – and Ireland too – are sick of cuts in public services and stagnant wages while tax cheats go unpunished. They want a different society, an end to the situation where a decent secure job and a place to live are unobtainable for millions.
“But we know that those changes will never be achieved by government alone, even a progressive Labour one.
“Society cannot be transformed solely from the top,” McCluskey goes on to say. “Stronger trade unions are vital, not as an add-on to government, but as the very foundation
of a more equal country.
“What we achieve in the workplace can do as much to make our countries better places to live in as almost any decree from Whitehall.”
Watch the full address in the video below: