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UNITE’s Len McCluskey tells MPs ‘people’s vote’ could be seen as betrayal: UNITE members launch counter-petition on Free Movement.

with 2 comments

Image result for unite mccluskey Brexit

McCluskey: “Concerns about immigration and the exploitation of immigrant labour.”

The Guardian Reports:

The Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey, has privately told Labour MPs the party should have severe reservations about backing a fresh Brexit referendum, saying voters could see it as a betrayal.

The deep scepticism from one of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest and most powerful supporters is likely to unnerve MPs and campaigners hoping the party is warming to the idea of a fresh Brexit vote.

Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, hit back at McCluskey’s warning, laying bare the tensions in the party.

“To suggest it represents a ‘betrayal’ grossly distorts Labour’s position and is deeply unhelpful to those seeking a solution to an an issue that is reaching crisis proportions,” he told the Guardian.

McClusky is also reported saying this:

Len spoke about tackling people’s concerns about immigration and the exploitation of immigrant labour. He said there would be a sense of betrayal among the members if we went for a second referendum.

“He said the party has to take concerns about immigration into account, and that if politicians had done so sooner we might have avoided the current situation. I wouldn’t say that majority of MPs agreed with him at all. But he gave clear examples where the exploitation of immigrant labour has undermined existing wage levels.”

But…

Shiraz carries this story:

Dear Len: this is Unite policy on Brexit – and it *doesn’t* rule out a ‘people’s vote’ and *doesn’t* call for a crack-down on immigration.

Unite members stand up for free movement after Gen Sec’s comments.

As Unite members, we are concerned by recent reports that our union General Secretary, Len McCluskey, has privately told Labour MPs that we – his members – want them to vote for a Brexit that clamps down on immigration.

We are proud members of a diverse union that brings together workers of all origins to fight for our common interest. As Labour Party conference voted in September: “stagnant wages, crumbling services and the housing crisis are being exacerbated by the government and employers making the rich richer at working people’s expense, and not immigration.” The idea that free movement depresses wages or drives unemployment is a right-wing lie, disproven by the evidence and designed to set workers against one another. As trade unionists, we recognise when xenophobic sentiment is fuelled to divide us, and we expect our General Secretary to reject such harmful rhetoric and stand up for the rank and file members, many of whom are those same migrants!

Clamping down on our freedom to move, live and work across borders will not solve any of the problems we face, which are down to exploitative employers and the right-wing politicians who serve them. In truth, by leaving migrant workers precarious and at the mercy of unscrupulous bosses, it is anti-migrant policies that threaten to undermine all of us. Our union should work to tear down anti-migrant policies, not to build more.

We call on our General Secretary to clarify whether the reports of his comments are accurate. If so, we call on him to withdraw them and instead to stand up for defending and extending free movement and the rights of all his members.

You can sign here.

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Written by Andrew Coates

December 6, 2018 at 12:58 pm

2 Responses

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  1. “Sign the Unite members’ open letter
    Thanks for signing. Please ask fellow Unite members to join us!
    Submit another response”

    Come on you lazy lot, tell McCluskey where to go with his racist rhetoric and sign the bloody petition!

    Shop Steward

    December 6, 2018 at 1:23 pm

  2. This is his response:

    Andrew Coates

    December 6, 2018 at 6:00 pm


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