Press release: Press release: Press release: Press release: Immediate 28/01/2013
There is an alternative to austerity
and the PCS ballot offers Unite a chance to re-ignite the fight.
UNITE has a chance to re-ignite the fight against austerity, thanks to the recent vote by the PCS union executive, which is to ballot a quarter of a million members for action over cuts to pay, pensions and working conditions, on a timetable allowing action from March.
Austerity and cuts are uppermost in everyone mind right now, with threats to job security, the constant erosion of living standards and cuts and privatisation in the NHS and the other vital services we rely on. Working people face a concerted attack across every area of our lives, while the rich keep getting richer. As the Con-Dems cut our services they also cut the top rate of tax, though that’s not enough for some who try to dodge paying that!
It's obvious that we need coordinated action on a mass scale to resist and defeat the government and employers. Why should members be left trying to fight back piecemeal? Which, in the main has been the policy of Unite for far too many years.
Jerry Hicks, who is challenging Len McCluskey in the election for Unite General Secretary, said: “There is an election on in Unite for General Secretary right now, having been sprung on us some 3 years early. Mr McCluskey makes good radical speeches about general strikes. But where's the action? So is he playing to the gallery or advocating tearing down the gallows”.
He [Jerry Hicks] added “Union leaders have frittered away the momentum after the magnificent strike on November 30th 2011 which had massive public support. Now we have a chance to get resistance back on track and Unite is uniquely placed to do so. Unite has members in all areas of the public sector including Health, Local Authorities, Education, MOD and Government Departments, as well as in the private sector where job losses are in the news almost every day of every week from Rolls Royce & Honda to Lloyds Banking Group”.
Unite is the biggest union in the country and potentially the most powerful. Now is the time to match rhetoric with action. Members in every sector are under attack, If we all fought back together we would be unstoppable. Who would argue then that if Unites leadership matched its word with deeds co-ordinating action with the PCS, that it would give confidence to others including those in the NUT who want to fight despite a wavering of its NEC.
Jerry Hicks said “If I were General Secretary I would be calling emergency meetings of our National Industrial Sector Committees to discuss the issues they face and encouraging them to hold ballots to allow action alongside PCS members”.
Unite and PCS have an agreement for working together, but it has remained a paper agreement. In November workers across many European countries struck and demonstrated together. British unions issued press releases. There will be another day of action in mid-March and Unite should be at its forefront."
Notes to editor: Unite is the biggest union in the UK with 1.5 million members.
Unite is currently holding an election for its General Secretary in which there are only two candidates.The nomination period began on the 1st January ending on 15th February. Each candidate requires 50 Branch Nominations to contest the election.
2010 Jerry Hicks secured 52,527 votes & beat 2 senior officials when runner up to McCluskey
Jerry Hicks can be contacted by mobile 07817827912 or email