Union says decision made by executive, but insiders say general secretary unwilling to support something she didn’t start
The burgeoning ‘Enough is enough’ movement, which started in the RMT union’s industrial action against exploitative employers, represents for many the ‘only show in town’ when it comes to resistance against the war on ordinary people being waged by the Establishment – an Establishment that includes the current Labour regime as well as its Tory mirrors. In the absence of parliamentary opposition worthy of the name, those ordinary people and those who represent them in the workplace have had to take matters into their own hands.
But many have questioned why Unite, the UK and Ireland’s biggest union, has been conspicuous by its absence from the movement and the events that have launched it.
Now Skwawkbox can reveal that, according to Unite insiders, the union’s relatively-new general secretary Sharon Graham has issued a ban on the use of the ‘Enough is enough’ slogan, language or logo by the union’s employees and representatives. In line with these reports, advertising for a Wigan Unite branch’s event that carried the headline ‘Enough is enough’ was withdrawn – and in the amended ad for the event, at which Ms Graham is one of the speakers, the ‘EIE’ wording is gone:
Skwawkbox contacted the union for comment about the reported ban. A Unite spokesperson replied that the ban had been decided by the union’s executive committee, but used language very similar to Sharon Graham’s campaign to become the union’s general secretary:
Unite’s Executive Council recently decided that, whilst wishing Enough is Enough well, along with all other groups that are trying to highlight the cost of living crisis, the union’s total resources need to be focussed [sic] on protecting the jobs, pay and conditions of workers. It is important that campaigns for workers are led and run by workers.
Another senior Unite insider disagreed, telling Skwawkbox:
Sharon didn’t come up with it. She won’t back it.
Ms Graham was criticised among some trade unionists in the early part of her tenure for appearing to claim personal credit for victories won by local workers and union reps. A recent announcement by the CLASS think-tank, announcing that it will close at the end of this month because its union funders’ priorities now lie elsewhere, also uses similar language.
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