Tuesday, March 27, 2018

UNISON Greater London Labour Link Forum 2018: Speaker Joe Cox "Unions Together"

This picture is from last weeks joint meeting with UNISON Labour Link Greater London & Eastern Region Annual Forum. This took place in the UNISON centre in Euston Road, London.

I had chaired the Greater London Forum meeting beforehand. I really think that there such an excitement about Labour politics currently and that all unions should use this as a once in a lifetime opportunity to recruit and organise.

The Guest speaker was Joe Cox from "Unions together". He gave a powerful speech (see text below).

"Good morning colleagues and comrades.

Thanks for inviting me here and thanks for everything you do in your workplaces and for the Labour Party.

My name’s Joe and I’m from TULO – The National Trade Union and Labour Party Liaison Organisation or unionstogether as we are known more commonly.

We have two roles:

- To be the voice of the 12 affiliated unions within the Labour Party

- To campaign for a Labour government in the TU movement because we believe that only a Labour government will govern in the interests of working people and their families.

Right now the choice between a Labour Party that will govern for the many and a Tory government which govern for the few couldn’t be starker.

And the consequences could not be bigger.

I’d like to take a few minutes of your time today to encourage you to do everything you can to send a message to the Tories at these local elections on May 3rd.

I’d like to start by taking you back to April 2017.

I was in Labour HQ when Theresa May called the general election.

You can imagine the reaction.

We were all extremely calm and hugely delighted.

Let’s not forget, we were 21% behind in the polls.

What transpired was for my money the most incredible general election campaign in post-war history.

The general election campaign showed the Labour movement at its best.

- A bold manifesto which gave hope to millions

- A newly enthused influx of Party members and trade unionists campaigning up and down the country

- A trade union movement that provided the grounding and insight of working people as well as resources the party needs

During the campaign the Labour Party tapped into a growing sense of anxiety and frustration.

Britain is the 5th richest country in the world…

…But working people are poorer than they were 8 years ago

Britain is the 5th richest country in the world…

…But working people are under increased pressure to deliver more for less in their workplaces.

Britain is the 5th richest country in the world…

…But homelessness is increasing.

Britain is the 5th richest country in the world...

...But life expectancy in our poorest communities is going down

Britain is the 5th richest country in the world…

...But under the Tories more children are in poverty, our NHS is failing and our schools and social care are in crisis.

More and more people feel that the system is rigged against them, but in 2017 the Labour Party, you, gave people hope that things could be different.

Fast forward to March 2018 and it’s all too easy to forget that we have made huge strides forward.

We are neck and neck with the Tories and we are the biggest political party in Western Europe.

And with local elections on May 3rd now is the time to build on last year’s successes.

Because we know what a difference Labour councils make:

- Over 89 Labour councils paying the living wage

- Over 30 councils have signed UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter providing dignity for those in care and for care workers

- Newham Council providing free school meals for all primary school students

- Islington Council delivering 2,000 genuinely affordable homes by 2019

- Oldham Council introducing a licensing scheme for private landlords to stamp out the letting of poor quality accommodation

- Preston Council buying locally to support 1,600 jobs and keeping wealth in the local community

Many more Labour councils doing extraordinary things under really difficult circumstances.

Labour councillors - the foundation stone to forming the next Labour government.

The Labour Party was born from the trade unions in 1900 because working people needed a collective political voice.

They needed a collective voice that could compete with the power of capital, bosses, business and landlords.

Working together TU’s and the Labour Party have achieved so much.

- The formation of the NHS in 1945

- The first Equal Pay Act in 1970

- The minimum wage and rights to paid holiday in 1998

- The Equality Act 2010

So much has changed since 1900 and yet so much has remained the same.

In the run up to the snap election in 2017 the Tories received the following donations:

Andrew Law, hedge fund manager - £250k

Steven Parkin, logistics mogul – £250k

Mark Coombs, investment manager - £300k

John Griffin, owner of Addison Lee - £900k

John Gore, theatre producer - £1 million

John Armitage, hedge fund manager - £1million

The Conservative Party, the party of the rich, for the rich, by the rich.

They might have the money but we have the people.

We have people like yourself that deliver public services day in and day out. You know what Tory failure means on the ground. You are best placed to persuade colleagues, neighbours, family and friends that voting Labour can improve their lives.

So let’s use this opportunity to send a message to the Tories.

Let’s use these elections to say to voters:

Vote Labour to give local government the funding it needs

Vote Labour for real action to tackle the housing crisis

Vote Labour for a world class education for all

Vote Labour for safer communities

Vote Labour to give working people the pay rise they deserve

Vote Labour to give the NHS and Social Care the funding it needs

Vote Labour – for the many, not the few."

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