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Workers Must Not Pay for This Crisis – Rob MacGregor, Unite the Union, speech at #Lab21

“We must commit ourselves to answering the needs of the hour, to defending workers in struggle & to taking the fight to this rancid government.”

Rob MacGregor, Unite the Union

We are pleased to republish below the speech of Rob MacGregor, moving the composite on “A new industrial strategy for Post-covid recovery” for Unite the Union this week at Labour Party Conference:

We are pleased to republish below the speech of Rob MacGregor, moving the composite on “A new industrial strategy for Post-covid recovery£ for Unite the Union this week at Labour Party Conference.

We stand on the brink of a social and industrial crisis.

This is no act of nature or misfortune – but a calculated attack by rapacious employers working hand in glove with a Conservative government determined once again to make workers’ pay for a crisis.

As furlough ends and hundreds of thousands are pushed into poverty, unemployment or both – we emerge from the worst of the pandemic not into Johnson’s promised ‘sunlit uplands’ – but into the winter ruins of more than ten years of Tory misrule.

The supply chain chaos currently freezing our industries and services is just the latest example of government mismanagement combined with corporate greed.

Supermarket shelves emptying and garage forecourts run dry.

An energy crisis threatening fuel poverty for millions.

With inflation soaring and the crisis deepening, this government -supported by the bosses- are hell bent on suppressing wages, slashing benefits and making work less secure.

Against this backdrop- and against a government devoid of vision or values – it should be no struggle for Labour to say what we stand for.

Now, I’m proud to stand before you today speaking on behalf of a trade union with a renewed direction.

Under the leadership of Sharon Graham, Unite stands confident in our purpose and resolute in our determination.

Our task is simple. To win for workers.

We make no apology that our focus is laser sharp on the things which matter most to our members and their families.

Fighting for their interests – industrially and socially – in the workplace and in our communities.

And our shared task is to deliver for the people who need us.

It is the duty of our party to fight and to win for them – and not only at the ballot box.

That means taking the fight to this Tory government now.

It means exposing the cruelty of the Tory’s cuts to Universal Credit

It means, as a trade union and labour movement standing together in the battle against fire and re-hire.

It means having the courage of our convictions to say 3% is not enough for our NHS workers.

These are the things that will rebuild trust with the people of this country.

Conference, we call on the Party to hold firm to its commitments.

To delivering secure, high quality, unionised jobs.

To democratic public ownership.

To bold intervention in our economy and our regions.

To an industrial strategy for collective prosperity and a fair green, sustainable future for all.

This is our party’s path to victory – not quietly waiting for an election on a Tory timetable.

The task for Labour is to prove that our message is worth believing in and worth fighting for.

That it is a message of genuine hope; a message which shows our people & communities that Labour cares and is on their side.

We must commit ourselves to answering the needs of the hour, to defending workers in struggle and to taking the fight to this rancid government.

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