Morning Star to publish General Election Special edition

Britain’s only socialist daily newspaper is producing a special bumper election edition to be handed out free at supermarkets June 1st (Thursday).

175,000 copies of the Morning Star – featuring exclusive election stories and interviews with Jeremy Corbyn and celebrity figures – will be distributed at transport hubs as well as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s, Asda and the Co-op.

The paper, which was the only national daily to back Jeremy Corbyn’s 2015 Labour leadership campaign, is co-operatively owned by its readers – in contrast to the billionaire-owned Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Daily Express, Sun, Times and Daily Star.

Morning Star editor Ben Chacko said the decision to print the June 1 free edition was sparked by the appointment of George Osborne to edit the Evening Standard.

“London’s most widely read free sheet is now being edited by one of the most destructive Conservative chancellors in history,” he said. “Newspapers owned and controlled by a handful of billionaires are not, as they like to imagine, objective watchdogs of our liberties, holding power to account. More often, they offer just a shrill blast of establishment propaganda. The overwhelming Tory bias of the press is familiar from past elections, but the vicious invective directed at Jeremy Corbyn is in a different league. With this special free edition, we are offering the British public a mass-market alternative to this daily barrage.”

The June 1 edition features exclusive interviews with actor Julie Hesmondhalgh, film directors Ken Loach and W.I.Z. and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. As well as a host of exclusive news stories, the paper will include election perspectives from three rank-and-file workers – a nurse, a train guard and a postman.

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Unite warns voters ‘Tories are no friends of the North’

The Conservative Party is ‘no friend of the North’ but instead the party of the ‘leafy shires and the lucky few’, Unite the country’s largest union is warning.

Billboards carrying that message will appear across the North of England today until the polls open on Thursday 8th June as Unite continues to campaign to turn out every possible vote for Labour.

With the Conservatives targeting Labour’s northern heartlands, the union’s intervention signals its determination to hammer home the Tories’ record to voters, and remind them that the party’s plans will make life tougher for working people and their families.

Launching the billboard advertisements, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “The Tories are not and never will be the friends of the North.
“When the Tories are in power, our great northern cities and communities endure misery and neglect. Just look at what happened to Redcar recently – a top class industrial facility was allowed to go to the wall by the Tory government with thousands put out of work.
“This is what a Conservative government does. It does not govern for the nation but rewards only the privileged, the leafy shires and the lucky few.
“That is why we are urging voters to think very carefully ahead of the poll on 8 June. Judge the Tories by their record – record debt, falling wages, appalling zero hours work, our children’s schools begging for help, police cuts, and our NHS on its knees. These leopards have not changed their spots and are not worthy of your vote.
“A vote for Labour is the only option to give our communities the strong future they deserve.”
The Unite billboards can be seen in Leeds, Newcastle and Salford. They will be joined by ad vans that will tour London plus towns and cities in the north east and north west to contrast the different offers before voters – continuing Tory cuts and falling living standards, or the sensible Labour plan to renew working class communities.

This is in addition to the hundreds of thousands of leaflets that Unite members have been putting through letterboxes in recent weeks and distributing in workplaces, as well as a major Facebook campaign to ensure voters understand the real change that Labour offers.

Unite will also be campaigning in manufacturing workplaces to hammer home the message that a Tory Brexit would be very bad news for UK jobs and investment.

To see the artwork for the billboards and ad vans click here

Unite’s poster ads can be seen at the following sites:
Leeds: Leeds Central, Wellington St A58M, LS1 1RF
Salford: Regent Road Towers (out), M5 4QH
Salford: Regent Road Towers (In) M5 4QH
Newcastle: On the A184, Leam Lane, Fellgate NE10 8YD
Sunderland: On the  A19, Sunderland SR5 3JL

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Only Labour Backs UK Manufacturing.

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Finnish Unions Create New Industrial Union

Three Finnish trade unions have come together to create a new union – the Finnish Industrial Union.

The merger was initially repoerted on this site in December 2016.

The industrial and general union TEAM, the Metal Workers’ Union and the Woodworkers’ Union have joined together and created the new union.

The unions say the reason behind the merger is to ensure that the voice of manufacturing/industrial workers will continue to be heard.

Attacks on unions by the Government and employers in Finland have been growing and the unions see creating a powerful manufacturing/industrial union union as a way of fighting back.

The new union will represent 75 per cent of workers predominantly involved in Finland’s export sector – putting them stronger position when it comes to collective bargaining.

Union density in Finland is still high – but the three unions between them, have lost a total of 35,000 members since 2005. The focus of the new union will be organising work places and tackling the growth of digital technology.

A fourth union, the papermakers union Paperlitto who were initially involved in the talks withdrew. However, a senior Finnish union official to me it is expected they will join with the new union once it is established.

The new union will begin operating at the beginning of 2018. With 226,000 members it will be the second largest trade union in Finland.

Each of the unions currently has their own separate unemployment fund.

These will also merge and the new joint unemployment fund is set to commence in January 2018.

The Finnish Industrial Union will keep all the 33 collective agreements the three unions have now. Collective bargaining will be organised into four sectors: chemicals, technology, wood products and special branches.

The number of local branches in the new Union will be 715. In 2015 the three Unions collected a total of 47.8 million euro in union subscriptions.

The name of the new Union in Finnish is Teollisuusliitto and in Swedish Industrifacket.

The union will have two official languages, Finnish and Swedish. Finland has a Swedish speaking minority of around five per cent of population.

The first joint Congress of the Finnish Industrial Union will take place at the end of November this year.

It will elect the 83 member union council, union president, three vice presidents and the union board.

The new president will be Riku Aalto, the President of the Metal Workers’ Union.

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What Is Really Happenning In Venezuela – Watch Here.

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Labour’s Workers Charter

At last a radical employment rights programme set out by the Labour Party – can anyone disagree with these proposals?


  • Give all workers equal rights from day one, whether part-time or full-time, temporary or permanent – so that all workers have the same rights and protections whatever kind of job they have.
  • Ban zero hours contracts – so that every worker gets a guaranteed number of hours each week.
  • Ensure that any employer wishing to recruit labour from abroad does not undercut workers at home – because it causes divisions when one workforce is used against another.
  • Repeal the Trade Union Act and roll out sectoral collective bargaining – because the most effective way to maintain good rights at work is through a trade union.
  • Guarantee trade unions a right to access workplaces – so that unions can speak to members and potential members.
  • Introduce four new Bank Holidays – we’ll bring our country together with new holidays to mark our four national patron saints’ days, so that workers in Britain get the same proper breaks as in other countries.
  • Raise the minimum wage to the level of the living wage (expected to be at least £10 per hour by 2020) – so that no one in work gets poverty pay.
  • End the public sector pay cap – because public sector wages have fallen and our public sector workers deserve a pay rise.
  • Amend the takeover code to ensure every takeover proposal has a clear plan in place to protect workers and pensioners – because workers shouldn’t suffer when a company is sold.
  • Roll out maximum pay ratios – of 20:1 in the public sector and companies bidding for public contracts – because it cannot be right that wages at the top keep rising while everyone else’s stagnates.
  • Ban unpaid internships – because it’s not fair for some to get a leg up when others can’t afford to.
  • Enforce all workers’ rights to trade union representation at work – so that all workers can be supported when negotiating with their employer.
  • Abolish employment tribunal fees – so that people have access to justice.
  • Double paid paternity leave to four weeks and increase paternity pay – because fathers are parents too and deserve to spend more time with their new babies.
  • Strengthen protections for women against unfair redundancy – because no one should be penalised for having children.
  • Hold a public inquiry into blacklisting – to ensure that blacklisting truly becomes and remains a thing of the past.
  • Give equalities reps statutory rights – so they have time to protect workers from discrimination.
  • Reinstate protection against third party harassment – because everyone deserves to be safe at work
  • Use public spending power to drive up standards, including only awarding public contracts to companies which recognise trade unions.
  • Introduce a civil enforcement system to ensure compliance with gender pay auditing– so that all workers have fair access to employment and promotion opportunities and are treated fairly at work.


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Support US Car Workers Fighting For Union Recogntion

United Auto Workers (the US car workers union) and their members  at Local 42 in Chattanooga, Tennessee have been locked in a battle with Volkswagen for the right to union recognition and collective bargaining.

Despite a December 2015 election victory – when skilled trades workers voted in favour of being represented by the UAW at Volkswagen – and a September 2016 NLRB ruling that ordered Volkswagen to the bargaining table, the company still refuses to negotiate with UAW.

Volkwagen recognise unions in Germany (the IG Metall), in the UK (Bentley in Crewe) and in many other countries.

For months, Volkswagen has used every stalling tactic available to avoid recognising US workers’ right to form a union and negotiate a contract.

Unite union reps from the automotive sector recently visted the Volkswagen site in Chatanooga as part of an international delegation aimed to forcing VW to recognise the UAW at the plant.

SumOfUs, a group of over 12 million people across the globe who are committed to ‘people over profits’ has a new petition calling on Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller to stop the stalling tactics and meet with UAW to negotiate a contract.

Unite is asking you to stand in solidarity with UAW members in Chattanooga and millions of supporters around the world.

Sign the petition now and tell Volkswagen to put an end to the stalling tactics.


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Posted in International Trade Unions, Unite The Union | 1 Comment

Brexit, UK Automotive and Implications For Industrial Policy

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United Steelworkers Convention 2017 – Len McCluskey

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United Steelworkers Convention 2017 – Tony Burke

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