Sunday, 31 July 2016

Corbyn: A threat to jobs & trade unions

Readers may recall a dispute between Jeremy Corbyn and one of his big trade union backers from a while back over the future of Trident. Politics Home reported:

Ian Waddell, Unite's national officer for aerospace and shipbuilding, said: “Tens of thousands of highly skilled jobs rely directly and indirectly on the Successor submarine programme and other projects across the defence industry.

“The continued commitment by the Government to manufacture the next generation of submarines in the UK is a welcome vote of confidence in the skills and expertise of the UK’s defence workers."

However, Mr Waddell accused ministers of treating the workers whose jobs depend on Trident renewal as a "political football" by delaying a Commons vote giving final sign-off to the project.

The GMB union, which like Unite has ploughed millions of pounds into Labour coffers, also backs Trident renewal.

General Secretary Sir Paul Kenny said in January: "If anybody thinks that unions like the GMB are going to go quietly into the night while tens of thousands of our members’ jobs are literally swannied away by rhetoric then they have got another shot coming.”

Meanwhile Corbyn himself remained unrepentant and allied himself with the so-called "anti-war" movement rather than support both the countries defence or the workers whose livelihoods depend on the defence industry.

Ideology before workers. Some Labour leader. You'd think he'd learnt his lesson after trying to compromise over Trident by suggesting they remained but without missiles. To do what? Take people on trips around the coast? Rather pathetic I thought.

However once gain Corbyn has lined up against the interests of workers by opposing the new nuclear plant that Unite and Prospect have been working hard to secure jobs over. The Huffington Post reported:

Jeremy Corbyn is facing a backlash from trade unions, party members and his shadow business minister after opposing the construction of a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point.

A co-founder of a local Momentum group has abandoned her support for the Labour leader, warning that his stance on the £18bn project proved he was an “anarchist” and “not socialist”.

Rachel Garrick switched to supporting Owen Smith after Corbyn declared his opposition to the new plant at Hinkley Point C in Somerset.

“Tories have just put up the cost of your electricity by giving a blank cheque to EDF for a power station that doesn’t work,” he Tweeted.

Garrick, a Prospect trade union rep who had spent years negotiating to secure jobs at the site, said Corbyn had at a stroke abandoned thousands of skilled workers that Labour should be fighting for.

Guess what.. a spokesman for Corbyn says he's "backtracking" despite the Corbynista hordes opposing both nuclear defence and power..

Not to be trusted.

And anyway he's no pacifist. Corbyn refused to condemn IRA violence five times when asked recently.

Corbyn is not fit for government. Not fit to represent workers.

Members of affiliated trade unions like Unite & the GMB should demand their leaders stop supporting Corbyn.  PCS union members in the MOD should demand their non-affiliated union's leaders should butt out as well. 

The other main civil service union Prospect demands:

Prospect, the largest union for engineers, scientists, specialists and professionals in the UK’s energy and nuclear industry said the government’s decision to further delay the project was incomprehensible.

The union's deputy general secretary Garry Graham said: “The new energy minister has talked about the importance of an industrial strategy which supports and underpins UK energy policy.

“The new Chancellor has talked about the importance of Hinkley Point C. Both have stressed that Britain is open for business and keen to attract investment in business and infrastructure.”

Prospect will write to the Prime Minister today seeking an urgent meeting.

The decision has to be seen in the context of the previous administration’s withdrawal of support for carbon capture, solar and wind at short notice, said Graham.

“We described those decisions, which came as a shock to the business and investment communities, as sending a chill wind through the sector in terms of investor and business confidence.

“Energy margins continue to decline – we are already asking intensive users to come off supply at periods of peak demand and relying on polluting diesel generation to keep the lights on.

“It is not only 25,000 high-quality jobs that are at risk, but the UK’s ability to keep the lights on and meet our climate change targets.

“It is incomprehensible that ministers and officials are not familiar with the deal hammered out with EDF over a number of years.

“At best the decision looks chaotic. At worst it appears that UK government is not a reliable or trustworthy partner,” he concluded.

Civil servants and others can join Prospect: here

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