Unite leader demands financial fairness for the North East

Unite leader demands financial fairness for the North East

07 July 2017

Len McCluskey will call for the same deal for the North East of England as for Northern Ireland, when he addresses the Durham Miners’ Gala tomorrow (Saturday 8 July).

The general secretary of Unite, Britain and Ireland’s biggest union, will condemn the government for “bunging” £1 billion to the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland, in order to cling to power, while still insisting there is no more money for schools, housing, sprinklers in tower blocks, the NHS or to lift the public sector pay cap.

He will say:

“Unite is the biggest union in Northern Ireland and I’m pleased for our members that there will be more money for their communities and services.

“But if the government can find money to invest in Northern Ireland, it must be found for all our nations and all our regions.

“A billion pounds would go a long way to helping regenerate industries here in the North East. It would help fill the gaping hole left when the Tories let a world-class plant at Redcar close its doors, throwing 2,000 skilled men and women out of work.

“So I demand the same deal for the North East as for Northern Ireland. Theresa May, you have saved you own skin with taxpayers’ cash but there are far worthier causes for our public money right here in the North East.”

Len McCluskey is also expected to condemn the government for raising false hopes of a pay raise for the country’s millions of public sector workers and Conservative MPs for voting to make people ‘poorer’, saying:

“How dare David Cameron emerge from his luxury shed – which costs more than many earn the North East in a year – to condemn workers whose wages have been cut year of year for seven years as selfish.

“How dare Theresa May and her MPs echo this insult by traipsing through the Commons’ lobby to make you poorer.

“It’s time for a government for the people, for us to take back control of our public services, our transport, our NHS.

“It’s time for a £10 an hour basic wage, for homes to be built again – and to be fit for humans.

“It’s time to be rid of the aberration of human dignity of zero hours contracts.

“Ultimately, it’s time to put people before profit.

“Theresa May, for the good of this country, go, and go now.”


For more information and a copy of Len McCluskey’s speech in full contact Pauline Doyle on 07876 832 861
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Notes to editors

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.