Unite leadership hopeful warns against interference in Scottish politics

Published: Monday 6th February 2017 by The News Editor

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Unions should spend more time protecting members’ pay instead of “interfering” in Scottish politics, a Unite leadership candidate has said.

Gerard Coyne, who is challenging Len McCluskey for the post of general secretary, pledged to focus on protecting jobs and workers’ rights over “dabbling” in politics.

Mr Coyne was visiting Edinburgh as part of his ”five capitals” tour of the UK and Ireland ahead of the leadership vote.

He told activists: “I don’t think it is the job of a union leader to be advising Scottish politicians on which parties should be forming coalitions with one another. That is their responsibility.

“And what I won’t do is expend Unite’s resources dabbling in Scotland’s internal political affairs, except where the direct interests of Unite members are at stake.”

It follows comments from Mr McCluskey that Labour under Jeremy Corbyn could form the next government with support from the SNP.

Mr Coyne added: “I will work with any administration in Scotland, whatever its political make-up, to do whatever we can to reduce unemployment and protect and improve pay and working conditions and to resist austerity and service cuts in Scotland.

“If you are a Unite member, my entire focus, as general secretary, would be on protecting your jobs and your economic well-being in the turbulent times ahead.”

Published: Monday 6th February 2017 by The News Editor

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