14/06/2017 - Unions respond to the General Election Result

So what does the result of the 2017 General Election mean for working people. Here's a selection of views from leaders of organised labour...

francesogradyFrances O'Grady - TUC General Secretary

"This election was about bread and butter issues — what needs to change for ordinary working people. The next government must deliver a new deal for working people. They should implement popular policies from the campaign — like banning zero-hours contracts, pushing up the minimum wage and delivering a long overdue pay rise for nurses, midwives and all public servants".

Dave Ward - CWU General Secretary

daveward"The election result heralds a change in the balance of forces in UK politics and there is no going back for Labour. Jeremy Corbyn and the leadership team deserve enormous credit for their resilience and for putting together a superb manifesto and campaign that brought Labour back home to working class people".

Tim Roache - GMB General Secretary

timroache"Theresa May went to the electorate seeking to strengthen her hand on the back of a manifesto that bore no resemblance to the lives, challenges and realities of people across this country.

"Labour's manifesto spoke to the real lives of so many, from early years to later life - free childcare, free education, workers' rights based on what actually happens in the modern economy, properly funded public services and dignity for pensioners - the hope of a decent standard of life and opportunity for all.

"People voted for that - including thousands of young people who are desperate for change - and in doing so stuck two fingers up at the right wing press who had tried to stitch up this election for the establishment".

Pat Harrington - Solidarity General Secretary

patonphone"Two things stood out for me in the campaign. First, that Labour put forward economic policies in their manifesto that were both radical and had widespread public support - for example railway re-nationalisation. Second, the nasty authoritarian streak revealed by Theresa May's attacks on human rights legislation. I hope that the hung parliament leads to the focus shifting away from extreme positions to one that is based on looking at the national interest more than party advantage".

Matt Wrack - FBU General Secretary

mattwrackfbu"Millions of voters supported policies that just two years ago were condemned as fringe ideas — renationalising the railways, scrapping student debt, building new homes. Jeremy Corbyn has shifted the political debate decisively in favour of working-class people by working towards what is fair and just. It seems that the Tory Party’s austerity agenda may have had its day."

Kevin Courtney - General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers

250px-NUT logo“Education was at the forefront of this election and many voters will have made their vote a vote for education. The Labour Party’s commitment to invest £4.8bn in schools, protecting school funding in real terms per pupil and protecting schools against inflation will not have been lost on the electorate. Theresa May has no option but to address this issue with urgency and ensure our head teachers have the money to run their schools properly without having to resort to begging letters to parents or cutting education provision. It is entirely feasible and entirely right that state education should be properly funded and resourced. The National Education Union will not let this Government destroy the education of a generation – education cuts never heal.”

Dr Mary Bousted - General Secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers

drmaryboustedatl“School funding was at the top of the election debate and the National Education Union will ensure that it stays in pole position in the months ahead. If Theresa May thinks that education is expensive she should try the alternative. As the Brexit negotiations start, the need for the next generation to be well-educated becomes even more necessary, particularly if we are to compete in a global market and for the next generation to lead fulfilled lives. Education cannot be delivered ‘on the cheap’. The Government must commit to funding schools properly to give children and young people their birth right as citizens – the knowledge and skills to make the most of their talents and abilities.”

Mr Stephen James - NFU Cymru President

nfu“British farming underpins the country’s largest manufacturing sector and with farming arguably the sector most impacted by Brexit, our members need clarity and certainty as soon as possible over who will govern the country and how they plan to support profitable, productive and progressive agriculture and horticulture in the future. NFU Cymru will be seeking early meetings with Ministers. It is important for our industry to have clarity and see certainty from a functioning administration as soon as possible.

“One of the key issues facing Wales is to ensure that resources equivalent to those which Wales would have received from the CAP, are provided from the UK Government to Wales in order to support Welsh farming. This is absolutely crucial to ensure that Welsh farming is able to deliver jobs, growth and investment for Wales.

“Welsh and British farms currently grow the raw ingredients for the UK food and drink manufacturing sector worth £109 billion and for every £1 invested, farming delivers seven-fold back to this country. Moreover, it is clear the British public value and want to continue to buy British food¹.”