Saturday, 30 April 2011

Unite general secretary May Day message to members

This government has no mandate from the people. Standing together, we can hold them in check

Dear friends
Last month, half a million men, women and children marched through London to call for a rethink. A rethink on the job losses sweeping our communities, to the wage cuts grinding people down. Jobs for the one million young people wasting on the dole.
They wanted an arrest to the assault our schools and health care, on the services that over generations we have paid for but are now to be gift-wrapped and placed into private hands. A fairer Britain, where those who can help those in need.
And they wanted a government with no mandate from the people to think carefully about its misuse of office. It was not elected to shatter our society - and it will not be forgiven if it accomplishes this mission.
The people of this country still want all these things. We want them because these are the values on which civilised societies rest.
Predictably, this government thumbed its nose at the biggest ever trade union presence on the streets of the capital. Remote from everyday people, they refuse to accept mounting calls to grow the economy, not cut mercilessly, even while the experts say this pain is for no economic gain, because they have a different mission - to change Britain radically, and not for the benefit of all.
Just look at their plans for the tribunal system that secures justice at work for employees; soon it will be dismantled, a favour for its friends in the CBI. Similarly they are presiding over the mass use of "sack and rehire" where cash-strapped councils do central government's dirty work by forcing tens of thousands of workers into a Hobson's Choice of accept horrific pay cuts - 24 percent in one case - or lose your job.
And someday soon they will come for the unions which are often all that stands between a worker and mistreatment.
That is why we must grow this union. To protect you and your family we must build, we cannot stand still because this is a fight about our futures. And such is this battle we may have to use our common power in whatever ways we can to defend our rights and achievements.
We know that working people want someone in their corner - we know that because of the countless requests for help we are receiving every day.
Soon, Unite will roll out a massive, concerted organising drive. This will see us join many more into Unite so that we can defend them - and you - against further attacks. Every Unite officer will be charged with growing this union and strengthening our grassroots. Every branch will make union growth its priority. Every member will be encouraged to remind their fellow workers why this union is their best defence.
The expertise and skills of the country's biggest union will be 100 per cent focused on building for our shared futures. Because Unite's strength gives YOU protection.

More than any other time in a generation, you need this. So too do your family and friends. If they are not in a union today, do them a favour and make sure they are Unite members by tomorrow. Joining on line is easy - just visit www.unitetheunion.org/joinonline.
Our strength is your power.
With best wishes to you and your family for the May Day holiday
Len McCluskey
Unite general secretary

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