Unite union boss: Coordinated strikes could happen ‘very soon’ | Political news


Unions are close to organizing a coordinated strike “very soon” after the “horror story” of recent weeks, a union boss told Sky News.

Sharon Graham, general secretary of Unite, accused the government of “aiding and abetting” employers to make millions in profits but not handing that over to workers.

She confirmed that Unite, the UK’s second largest union after Unison, has been in talks with other unions after RMT and Unison have also been talking about the strike.

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Mrs Graham told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge program on Sunday: “I think there could be up to a million people on strike very, very soon.

“What we’re seeing, and I think we have to retract why people are going on strike, is that [the government] They can put on all the anti-union they want, they can pretend they’re union barons by pushing big red buttons, but this is about anger, anger in the workplace, both in the public sector and in the private sector.”

Asked if the UK could see a general strike – where multiple sectors stage strikes at the same time – this winter, Ms Graham said: “We could see multiple strikes this winter, but what people call is really up to them.” “.

“There will be multiple strikes and I know in my own union there have been 450 strikes in less than a year, 90,000 Unite members have been on strike, £200m has been recovered in the pockets of those workers.

“That’s the job of the unions, that’s what we should be doing and that’s what we’re doing more and more, so I can see that increasing.”

Many of Unite’s members work for the NHS and Ms Graham said the doctors and nurses strike is “a very real option now being considered”.

He also criticized the new Chancellor jeremy huntingwho faced multiple NHS strikes when he was health secretary under David Cameron and Theresa May over junior doctor contracts.

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“I don’t know what your plans are for this country as chancellor, but anything that has to do with privatizing the NHS or anything that further impoverishes the poor, that really is a challenge,” Graham said.

She added: “I think we are witnessing a horror story, to be honest.

“It’s like watching a movie behind your hands and every time you watch something worse happens and I think we have a real problem on our hands.

“Jeremy Hunt is not the answer to what’s going on here.

“Jeremy Hunt, if you heard him yesterday, he was talking about a second round of austerity and I think people will not tolerate, after the financial collapse of 2008, this country went through 10 years of austerity, 10 years of pain, 10 years of struggle. , the workers and their families, and they did it because of a financial collapse.”

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Young doctors protest in front of the Department of Health
Young doctors protest outside the Department of Health while Jeremy Hunt was health secretary

Mrs Graham said there must now be a “change of government” but admitted she believes Mrs Truss and the Tory government “will hang on to the end”.

He said Labor had a real chance of winning an election now, but warned it was not a “time to play it safe”.

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“This is not a time to say it’s okay, they’re doing it so badly that we just have to stay on the sidelines here,” he said.

“This is the time to take this by the neck, to say this is what we need to do, to find a solution to these problems and to really set out where the Labor Party stands.

“Get some courage, design your post and say what people should vote for, not just what they should vote against.”

To register your interest and share your story, email TheGreatDebate@sky.uk


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