Hope will prevail over extremism, UNISON’s national executive council agreed at its meeting in London today.
Condemning the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich and the actions of the English Defence League in using the killing to promote anti-Muslim sentiment, general secretary Dave Prentis said that on behalf of UNISON, he was proud to have signed the open letter from Hope not Hate, which so far has had 35,000 signatories.
The letter says: “We know that the EDL does not speak for all Britain, just as we know that Muslim extremists do not speak for all Muslims. We, the British people, shun the EDL’s message of hate today because they do not speak for us.
“We are confident that hope will prevail. It will prevail because they are the few and we are, and always will be, the many.”
Mr Prentis stressed that UNISON had worked hard to campaign against BNP candidates in local elections, but that the EDL now threatened our communities.
President Chris Tansley also read out a statement agreed by the NEC condemning the “murder of drummer Lee Rigby, an action which has robbed his family of a son, a father and a husband and the repercussions of which have robbed the Muslim community of its peace of mind.”
The NEC also:
- agreed policy on amendments to motions for the upcoming national delegate conference;
- heard reports of the recent recruitment campaign that saw UNISON raise its recruitment levels by 44% over the first phase of activity. Two weeks into phase two and recruitment is up 53% on the same two weeks in 2012;
- discussed the need to build the union’s activist base to meet the challenge of organising in the fragmented public services;
- sent a message of support to striking UNISON members at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust;
- endorsed the union’s annual financial statements.