Begum Backs Binmen Striking in Her Own Constituency

Corbynista MP Apsana Begum has made an appearance alongside the 200 refuse collectors responsible for the piles of rubbish and swarming rats in London’s Tower Hamlets to back their strike action. Her constituents will no doubt be as pleased as Keir Starmer to see the Labour Party representative supporting the strike. The bin-men have been on strike since 18th September and joined a solidarity protest last week with striking NHS workers. There is frenzied talk of a new Winter of Discontent among residents…

Local businesses have taken to hiring their own bin collectors while the striking rubbish men reject a £1,925 pay increase and extend inaction until 15th October. Despite her constituents keeping their children off the streets for fear of rats, Begum praised the striking workers, saying “they’ve captured the attention of everyone in our area”. That’s one way of putting it…

mdi-timer 26 September 2023 @ 15:51 26 Sep 2023 @ 15:51 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Unite the Union Vote to Stay Affiliated to Labour, Put “Starmer on Notice”

Unite the Union have overwhelmingly rejected proposals to disaffiliate from the Labour Party, with members voting to stay within the tent at their Rules Conference in Brighton this morning. Their continued support will supposedly come at a price…

Speaking after the vote, Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham warned:

“This is the moment of maximum leverage for the union where we can hold Labour to account. Now cannot be the time to walk away. We would be weakening our own arm.

It would be the worst time to leave the Labour Party when they are in touching distance of power, if we leave we wouldn’t influence that power.

Labour must be Labour and the union must push them into that position we must make them take different choices. We will not make the same mistakes of the past there will be no blank cheques for Labour until we see tangible results.”

Unite added they were “put[ting] Keir Starmer on notice” with the vote, and “he must deliver on jobs, pay and conditions if he wins power at the next election“. Labour’s paymaster threatening – once again – to tighten the purse strings…

mdi-timer 10 July 2023 @ 12:03 10 Jul 2023 @ 12:03 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Nandy Hails “Clean” Union Money, 24 Hours Before “Potential Criminality” Found at Unite

Two explosive reports into alleged corruption at Unite the Union – Labour’s biggest donor – have been handed to the police today, after both probes found evidence of “eye-watering” overcharging on contracts and “potential criminality”. Their HQ was already raided by police earlier this year…

The investigations were conducted by a KC and an accounting firm respectively, with a source telling Sky News today:

“There was pricing and overcharging that would make your eyes bleed […] There are such discrepancies in the money that the police may want to take things further.”

Unite boss Sharon Graham has now insisted the reports won’t be published until the police probe is over, although given McClusky’s Birmingham hotel complex – the one that was supposed to cost £7 million – somehow ended up costing nearly £100 million, it’s not hard to imagine why the KC has a few questions.

Of course, it was only yesterday when Lisa Nandy had this to say on Times Radio about the unions filling Labour’s coffers:

“I would far rather be taking money from ordinary working people, whether it’s our paramedics, or our postal workers, or our ambulance workers to support the labour movement […] This is the cleanest money in British politics.

24 hours is obviously a long time in politics. Guido feels Rayner would have already published a screeching letter were this about a major Tory donor…

mdi-timer 8 December 2022 @ 14:23 8 Dec 2022 @ 14:23 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Unite Threatening to Bankrupt Labour

Labour is on the brink of their second financial crash in 20 years: its biggest donor, Unite the Union, is threatening to pull all its “remaining financial support” to the cash-strapped party over a pay dispute between Coventry Council and its bin lorry drivers. Having already reduced its affiliation fee by 10% back in October 2020, Unite is now promising all-out war unless Labour acts like “the party for workers” again. New General Secretary Sharon Graham has warned, “if we have to escalate, we will escalate” and called Sir Keir’s party “bad employers”. Dear General Secretary, I’m afraid there is no money…

Since Starmer became leader, Labour’s finances have nosedived thanks to – in the words of party General Secretary David Evans – “lost members and dealing with antisemitism cases”. Back in the summer, they had just enough cash for one month’s payroll. Even last week, a Labour spokesperson said they were being “open about the challenges [they] faced”. Challenges, in this case, meaning they’ve already passed mass redundancies and offered a real-terms pay cut to those who stayed…

Despite a Unison source pointing out to The Times last night, “Who are they going to ask to pay for May’s elections? Other unions are skint,” a Labour spokesperson boldly shot back:

“We’re not going to get into the specifics of this dispute. Keir Starmer’s Labour Party will always act in the public interest. These sort of threats won’t work in Keir Starmer’s Labour Party. We would have hoped that Unite would have got the message that the Labour Party is under new management.”

It’s not all bad for the Labour Party coffers, however. As Guido pointed out yesterday, the BBC’s supposed Tory donor who slammed Boris hasn’t actually donated to the Conservatives since 2020, and last year gave £25,000 to Sir Keir’s party. Surely they can tap him up to plug the multi-million funding hole…

mdi-timer 10 February 2022 @ 12:25 10 Feb 2022 @ 12:25 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Labour Staff Divided Over Pay Rise Settlement

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…

mdi-timer 28 January 2022 @ 16:11 28 Jan 2022 @ 16:11 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Starmer Could Face Doorstep Picket Line, New Unite Leader Promises to “Ramp Up” Protests Outside Bosses’ Homes

With the unions favouring strike action over Labour’s plan to lay off 90 employees, Sir Keir might now have to brace for a few unwanted visitors outside his North London home, as new Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham, elected last week, has promised to “ramp up” leverage tactics against company bosses in order to “defend jobs, fight cuts and protect pay”. We know what works and how to deliver pain to employersshe claims. Historically, this has involved inflating a 10-foot “Scabby Rat” in bosses’ front gardens…

Graham also boasted in her manifesto of “winning twelve Leverage campaigns and representing workers for over 20 years“, claiming:

“Now is the time for practical action – not empty political rhetoric or strongly worded press releases. If we are going to stop our members paying the price for COVID-19, we need urgent reform and to work differently both now and in the future.

Would be amusingly awkward for Starmer to cross a picket line outside his own home…

mdi-timer 2 September 2021 @ 15:32 2 Sep 2021 @ 15:32 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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