Labour members of Unite have just rejected party bosses’ deal for a real-terms pay cut, voting in favour of strike action on an indicative ballot and demanding a meeting next week to re-negotiate. The cash-strapped party had offered workers a 2% pay rise next year – well below 5.1% inflation. All to fill a £3 million hole left by falling memberships, reduced union backing… and settling legal cases.
Speaking earlier this week ahead of the ballot, a Labour spokesperson said they’d been “open” about the party’s dire finances:
“We have been open about the challenges the party faces. Party staff have done great work to tackle these challenges and everyone is focused on ensuring we are ready to fight the next general election.”
They’ve done such great work they’re now being rewarded with real-terms pay cuts. Although GMB members actually voted in favour of the pay cut deal, Unite’s rejection prolongs the squabbling for at least another week. Apparently the party tried to soften the blow by claiming they’d make up the shortfall with ‘big donations’ – where or when those donations will actually come in is still anyone’s guess…