Unite members stand up for free movement after Gen Sec’s comments

As Unite members, we are concerned by recent reports that our union General Secretary, Len McCluskey, has privately told Labour MPs that we – his members – want them to vote for a Brexit that clamps down on immigration.

We are proud members of a diverse union that brings together workers of all origins to fight for our common interest. As Labour Party conference voted in September: “stagnant wages, crumbling services and the housing crisis are being exacerbated by the government and employers making the rich richer at working people’s expense, and not immigration.” The idea that free movement depresses wages or drives unemployment is a right-wing lie, disproven by the evidence and designed to set workers against one another. As trade unionists, we recognise when xenophobic sentiment is fuelled to divide us, and we expect our General Secretary to reject such harmful rhetoric and stand up for the rank and file members, many of whom are those same migrants!

Clamping down on our freedom to move, live and work across borders will not solve any of the problems we face, which are down to exploitative employers and the right-wing politicians who serve them. In truth, by leaving migrant workers precarious and at the mercy of unscrupulous bosses, it is anti-migrant policies that threaten to undermine all of us. Our union should work to tear down anti-migrant policies, not to build more.

We call on our General Secretary to clarify whether the reports of his comments are accurate. If so, we call on him to withdraw them and instead to stand up for defending and extending free movement and the rights of all his members.



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