Howard Beckett and Steve Turner face off in contest for left union group’s nomination
Howard Beckett receives over 50 public endorsements from United Left members voting tomorrow
Howard Beckett has today received over a letter of fifty endorsements from across the labour movement, endorsing his candidacy to be the next General Secretary of Unite the Union.
A compilation video showing clips of many the endorsements was also released yesterday:
Beckett’s endorsers come from across the labour movement and reflect his wide base of support ahead of the United Left nomination – which is due to be announced by close of play on Saturday 18th June 2020.
Beckett’s endorsers have written a letter of support, outlining why he is the best candidate to succeed Len McCluskey to become the General Secretary of Unite the Union.
Beckett said of the support:
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to each & every one of you. You humble me with the faith you have shown. I promise never to let you down.
Incumbent General Secretary Len McCluskey is expected to retire next year, triggering the election of his replacement.
As well as serving as Unite’s assistant general secretary, Beckett also represents Unite on the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee.
The full letter and list of signatories read:
We believe that Howard Beckett is the best candidate to succeed Len McCluskey as General Secretary of Unite the Union.
Howard’s story inspires us. Born in Northern Ireland at the start of the Troubles, Howard was raised in an environment where injustice roamed free. It gave him the determination to pursue the politics of class, not medieval sectarian divides. The work of trade unions in Northern Ireland inspired him. Trade unions brought communities together, showing them that workers are all united in a single struggle.
Howard has brought this determination to Unite. His record speaks for itself. He has stood with Unite members throughout his career, going above and beyond.
In March 2012, Howard led a legal team that won the mesothelioma trigger case winning insurance pay-outs for 2,500+ patients yearly
In Dec 2013, Howard and his legal team secured the pension entitlements for workers at Waterford Crystal who were made redundant
In July 2014, Howard led the legal fight against Visteon secured pension rights for 1,200 workers in Belfast, Essex, London & Swansea
In Nov 2014 & 2017, Howard’s team won the legal fight to include voluntary overtime in holiday pay calculations netting £300-£1,500 for workers
In Jan 2015 Howard helped to halt the unfair dismissal of 184 truck drivers by Stobart (ESL) in Doncaster
In May 2016, Howard led the legal team who won the fight to expose the blacklisting of 3,213 securing £10m compensation for 256 Unite the Union members
In July 2017, Howard led the first bin strike against a Labour Council who tried to sack workers and cut pay
In Oct 2018, Howard’s legal fight led to the recognition of trade unions and collective bargaining at INEOS in Grangemouth, Scotland
In Nov 2018, Howard successfully defended Unite the Union against every single allegation of wrongdoing alleged by Gerard Coyne
In March 2019, Howard won and West Midlands Unite won up to £4,000 compensation for Birmingham bin workers subjected to blacklisting Yesterday, Howard Beckett launched his personal manifesto, outlining his vision for the position of General Secretary of Unite the Union, the largest trade-union in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Howard is campaigning to win the United Left’s nomination for the position of General Secretary candidate, with the hope of winning the contest.
This comprehensive and detailed manifesto sets out Howard’s commitments and priorities, and what he would do for Unite members as their General Secretary.
The manifesto outlines new, radical policies – building on Howard’s work as assistant general secretary. These include:
i) A £50 million strike fund, and the establishment of regional dispute units, giving Unite members the most industrially robust defence mechanisms available.
ii) Two years free membership for any Unite worker laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
iii) Direct communication with Unite workers’; cutting through the spin of the anti-union media with daily updates to Unite members with Unite TV.
Howard is also unambiguous that he will continue to hold the UK Labour Party to account if it fails to represent the interests of Unite workers’.
Howard is currently the assistant general secretary of Unite the Union, responsible for politics and legal affairs. He is also Unite’s representative on the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee.
Howard Beckett said,
“This manifesto represents Unite’s future. A future where we grow and become embedded in our communities in every region and nation of these islands. This pandemic presents challenges for our Union but we will fight for every member and we will keep winning as we have won so many times before.”
The coming years will not be easy. Our country is on the verge of an unprecedented recession. It is an environment where unscrupulous bosses thrive. We will need a fighting General Secretary to protect workers and fight for their jobs. Howard is the best person to take up that fight.
We know that he will not acquiesce to the political establishment in Westminster, either. He will bring the fight to the Tories, and he will hold the Labour Party to account if it pursues policies that will harm working people.
Neil Findlay MSP
Stewart Wakeman Munro
Hugh Smith Kerr
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