Analysis

Unite’s Graham signals accommodation with Starmer despite atrocious record

Sharon Graham says Starmer ‘must be bolder’ – but that she believes he has workers’ best interests at heart. His record suggests this is wishful thinking at best

Sharon Graham and Keir Starmer

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham has signalled an accommodation with Keir Starmer in statements today. Despite mixed language along the lines of ‘must do better’, Graham has indicated she has little interest in seeing Starmer removed for someone fit and trustworthy to lead the Labour party, despite Starmer’s frequent betrayals of workers.

Unite confirmed that the union is still funding Labour to the tune of £1m a year in affiliation dues, but Graham said that continued funding was dependent on Labour ‘working on behalf of workers’. However, according to the BBC News site Graham said that after meeting Starmer this week that she was:

reassured that he wanted to pursue worker-friendly policies.

This assessment appears to ignore Starmer’s track record since he conned his way into the Labour leadership. Since becoming leader, he and his party machine have:

• brought in 4 rounds of redundancies for Labour staff and told them the party will gut their pension scheme
• used fire-and-rehire tactics to cut costs
opposed a decent pay rise for nurses
refused to support strikes this summer and banned front-benchers from supporting them
• opposed a proper living wage, instead opting for a feeble £10 per hour despite a conference vote for at least £15
sacked front-bencher Nadia Whittome while she was on TV
• made or pressured workers into signing non-disclosure agreements
opposed teaching unions over classroom safety

Graham has no excuse for being unaware of the way the party has treated its staff, since Unite along with GMB balloted them for strike action over the way the party has treated them.

And of course, Starmer has broken every one of the promises he made to fool Labour members into voting for him, while hiding his anti-left donors until the election was over.

For a supposedly left-wing union leader to believe Starmer about anything is staggering. To believe that he has workers’ best interests at heart is mind-blowing.

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