Friday 23 February 2018

Union blocks Labour funds until promises made on workers' pay

Martin Frawley

THE Unite trade union has passed a motion to "temporarily" withdraw funding for the Labour Party.

The funding block will remain in place until the union receives assurances "that workers' rights, pay and cond itions will be genuinely protected going forward".

In a stinging attack on the junior coalition partners, the union at its annual conference in Belfast said that unions and workers "have been badly let down by this current Labour Party in government".

Regional secretary Jimmy Kelly said: "I share the concerns of everyone in this hall who feels that the Irish Labour Party has betrayed its history and its principles by continuing to impose relentless austerity on working people."

A Labour Party spokesman said that while the union donated around €10,000 to the party last year, due to new rules on corporate donations to political parties introduced this year the maximum yearly contribution Unite could make to the party was €2,500.

"The party won't be having too many sleepless nights as a result of the Unite decision," said the spokesman.

Unite also passed a motion promising support "for whatever action needs to be taken" by its 6,000 public service members who rejected the Haddington Road Agreement on public sector pay and reform.

Unite is the only union to date to reject the Haddington Road Agreement.

Irish Independent

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