It’s astonishing Gerard Coyne is accepting the support of ‘The Sun’ in Unite’s General Secretary Election – By Tony Burke, Unite Assistant General Secretary


“The involvement of the anti-union Sun newspaper & its public support for Gerard Coyne – & accepting The Sun’s support in his campaign – beggar’s belief.”

Tony Burke

In January 1984, Rupert Murdoch owner of the News International empire which included The Sun newspaper sacked 5,500 workers as part of a plan to divest his company of trade unions.

Murdoch’s planning, aims and intentions have been well documented and are on the public record. Murdoch’s attack on unions led to severe hardship among the workforce and their families and in some cases sacked workers committed suicide. The dispute centred on the printing plant at Wapping helped destroy trade union organisation in the UK newspaper industry.

Murdoch’s newspapers, notably The Sun, has maintained a fierce and unyielding anti-union stance for almost 40 years, publicly attacking and vilifying trade unionists and unions.

By setting up an in-house union – the News International Staff Association which the government’s own body that regulates trade union’s, the Certification Officer refused to grant a certificate of independence, and which remains in place today – they have stopped legitimate and independent unions for collectively representing workers employed by News International.

It is astonishing therefore that anyone seeking high office as a trade union official and the leadership of a trade union should accept the support of The Sun newspaper as Gerard Coyne is doing in the current Unite General Secretary election. There is always a price to pay for Murdoch’s support!

Defending his decision to be featured in The Sun Gerard Coyne said, “I want readers of News UK’s papers to join a union” – joining an independent union is of course something that employees of the Murdoch empire should have the right to do as well!

The involvement of the anti-union Sun newspaper and its public support for Gerard Coyne – and this involvement in promoting his campaign in this newspaper – beggar’s belief.

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