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I support superport over Unite stance

10 October 2013

I RECENTLY visited the new London Gateway superport to meet with the elected members of its employee forum.

This will be the focus for discussions between management and employees and reflects a “we are all in this together” approach which is to be commended.

This is not to say employees should not also join a trade union. They can give all kinds of legal protections for a small fee.

However, I do object most strongly to the activities of some unions who are more intent on playing politics than defending the interests of their members.

Take Unite’s general secretary Len McCluskey. Last week he decided to wade into the debate about the NHS with a claim that death rates at Basildon Hospital would cost me the election. Well wake up big Len. It is this Government that has got to grips with Basildon.

I will happily take on Labour on the health service as it is us who are looking out for patients.

Unite seems to think it has a God given right to be the recognised union at the new port. It does not.

While historically it was the dockworkers’ union, today our ports are highly skilled workplaces and workers have a great deal of choice about which union they choose to join.

So it really isn’t on for Unite to engage in behaviour which is designed to intimidate employees at London Gateway.

This “us and them” approach is all very 20th century. Industrial relations needs to be based on dialogue and understanding, not conflict.

But, of course, Len McCluskey understands all this. That is why he is using what muscle he has left to try and secure power for the union leaders.

So well done to the staff and management at London Gateway. Pick a union of your choice. Don’t be bullied into joining Unite. You could do a lot better.


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