Len McCluskey: Here or in the US, Trump is not a friend of trade unions

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From racism to toxic trade tariffs, Trump is an enemy of the workers. And trade unionists will not stay silent about it, the Unite general secretary writes.


As trade unionists we stand for world peace and prosperity. We stand for equality, justice and respect. As trade unionists we stand against bigotry. We stand against sexism and misogyny. We stand against racism.

And that’s why Unite is supporting the national Together Against Trump demonstration in London tomorrow, along with protests across the country. That’s why thousands of our union members will be marching to tell this government and the US President that his politics of intolerance, divide and division have no place in Britain and are totally rejected by workers and trade unionists.

Among those marching in London will be our steelworker members, whose jobs are threatened directly by Trump’s trade war. Yes there are imbalances and yes it’s right to help industries in trouble. But it’s not right to tear up the rules, to export your problems around the world.

Trump’s imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminium will do immeasurable harm to our manufacturing and steel making communities and could escalate into other sectors, such as the automotive industry.

And history tells us that trade wars too often lead to shooting wars.

Trump won because he played on people’s fears and insecurities. People who are fed up with austerity, who have rejected the global nature of capitalism and are looking for alternatives. Yet, in return for their vote, the billionaire braggart trampled over worker and human rights, and crushed international treaties.

He’s withdrawn from the UN Human Rights Council. He’s revoked the 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order of the previous Obama administration, which barred companies from federal contracts if they had a history of violating safety, workplace harassment or wage theft laws.

Unite has a proud history of fighting for safer, fairer workplaces.

Tomorrow we march in solidarity with our sister unions in the US, who now find themselves fighting to hold on to so much of what they have secured for working people.

Trump has used his platform to promote far-right racist organisations, such as Britain First, and has used terror attacks in the UK to justify his travel ban against Muslim countries. He’s separated migrant children from their parents at the US-Mexico border and put them in cages.

Trump’s extreme views do not represent the majority of Unite members. They do not represent the majority of British people. They do not represent the progressive alternative that we seek.

Unite is marching because we want hope restored to politics and to our communities. That’s not done by spreading hate and division. It’s not done by a government which holds hands with a racist warmonger.

Hope is restored to our communities, reinjected into politics, through the progressive policies of Labour under Jeremy Corbyn. It’s done by speaking up for peace and sanity, for equality, decency and democracy.

And tomorrow, it will be done by marching and opposing Donald Trump’s visit to Britain.