The Manchester Coalition Against Cuts web site is showing Len McCluskey, UNITE's General Secretary, signing up to a petition calling on the Labour Council to refuse to implement cuts.
While UNITE has had a policy of opposing all cuts since May 2011, which pledges support for councillors who do oppose cuts, the union has, until now, not done much to encourage Labour councillors to act on that policy. Indeed, the silence has been deafening on the odd occasions when councillors have refused to vote for cuts and have duly been disciplined by Labour.
If this marks a hardening of UNITE's stance it is very welcome. Would it have happened if the General Secretary election didn't seem increasingly likely to be contested?
The signature comes in the wake of bit protests in Manchester against the lastest round of cuts, and councillors starting to consider opposing them for the first time. A Councillors Against Cuts web site has appeared with increasing numbers pledging to vote against cuts. This is a development to be encouraged.