President thanks Black members for all their work

Gordon McKay uses speech to damn a government working to ‘undermine and punish working people’

“Thank you for all your hard work – particularly in the fight against racism.”

That was at the heart of Gordon McKay’s message to UNISON’s Black members’ when the president addressed their conference today.

He told them: “thank you for everything that you do for our union and everything that you do for our members.

“You provide a voice to people when others are trying to silence them, and support and hope when others are leading them to despair.

“You make a difference – you make people’s lives better.”

Talking of a government working to “undermine and punish working people”, he cited the rise in household debt, rising homelessness and increased child poverty as evidence for his comment.

“If this was due to Tory stupidity – it would be hard, but I could possibly forgive then,” he said. “But it isn’t stupidity … this is poverty, hopeless and misery as a political weapon.”

It isn’t acceptable to create a climate of fear, said the president. “This union will stand with our members every single day.”

Saying he was proud to be a member of UNISON, Mr McKay concluded by saying that that was because he was proud to be “a member of a trade union that you want to be a member of”.