NEC told: ‘If you don’t vote Labour, you’re giving a vote to the Tories’

Christina McAnea tells national executive council: ‘We want to see as many Labour MPs returned as possible’

UNISON centre sign

In her report to UNISON’s national executive council meeting today, general secretary Christina McAnea thanked those who helped campaigning for the local elections earlier in May.

And speaking less than 24 hours after Rishi Sunak called a general election she noted that, in England and Wales on 4 July, “if you don’t vote Labour, you’re giving a vote to the Tories. We want to see as many Labour MPs returned as possible”.

“We have seen, as trade unionists, the result of 14 years of the Tories,” she said, adding that the Conservative government is taking “the British people for fools”, after the prime minister had claimed falling inflation as a victory for Conservative policy, ignoring the fact that that doesn’t mean that prices are not still rising.

“The cost of living is still the main issue” on doorsteps, said Ms McAnea and reiterated that “the choice is between Labour and the Tories”.

Addressing concerns around stories that Labour was back-peddling on the New Deal for Working People, she said that discussions were taking place “almost weekly” between unions and the party and that that was not the case.

Ms McAnea noted that this was down to Conservative-supporting media spinning stories about the New Deal just before the 2 May elections.

On the Middle East, the general secretary also told the meeting that UNISON was in discussion with international unions to support the people of Gaza and trade unions in Palestine.

“I recently met with Husam Zomlot, Palestinian ambassador to the UK,” she said. “I assured him of UNISON’s ongoing support for justice for Palestinians and for peace in the region, as well as the fundraising efforts of our branches to get aid to the people of Gaza.”

The council also received a report from the president, Libby Nolan, which included her attendance at regional AGMs, including that in the North West, where she told members that action in the region taken by branches as part of the union’s Pay Fair for Patient Care campaign “has been successful and has helped to galvanise activity in many other parts of the country”.

Ms Nolan said that she was continuing to “represent UNISON at the national demonstrations organised by PSC (Palestine Solidarity Campaign).

She noted that last Saturday’s demonstration was on the week of the 76th anniversary of the Nakba – the mass displacement and dispossession of Palestinians during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

“It was a great honour to speak on the 76th anniversary to commemorate the devastating events of the Nakba and demand an end to all the atrocities of the last seven months.”

The meeting also heard about and discussed:

  • arrangements for national delegate conference in Brighton in June
  • arrangements for the political fund ballot
  • increases in membership, together with improving retention of members.

Check the website and Activist digital over the next six weeks for more guidance over the general election.