Sunday 3 July 2016

Defending Corbyn and Freedom of Movement

Unite's National Industrial Sector Committee (NISC) for my sector (GPM&IT) met this week and agreed to submit the following as emergency motions to the Unite Policy Conference this month.

It is likely that the "leadership" will try to avoid either being passed by putting forward fudgy "Executive Statements". If an Executive Statement is passed, all motions on the same subject fall. Given how long it took to get our union behind Corbyn in the first place, and our General Secretary's recent unhelpful comments about free movement of labour, conference fudge is the last thing we need.

1) Defend Jeremy Corbyn

This conference recognises that the outcome of the UK’s referendum on EU membership has significant economic and political implications at UK, EU and global levels. Now that the decision to leave the EU has been taken, the labour movement urgently needs a positive programme for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland post-EU. This must be based on a break from the neoliberal free-market agendas of both the UK government and the EU, along with a strong platform of workers’ rights, civil rights and equality.

This conference believes that Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership is much better placed to provide a positive way forward than the failed New Labour alternatives.

This conference deplores the actions of many Labour MPs in undermining Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and pledges UNITE’s support in the leadership election.

2) No to racism, yes to human rights

This conference is appalled at the racism, xenophobia and hostility to migrants evident from some campaigners on both sides during the EU referendum, and by the increase in racist abuse, harassment and attacks following the result. We note the increased insecurity facing non-UK citizens, including many UNITE members.

This conference believes that scapegoating migrants for austerity, poor housing, jobs and services undermines all our ability to tackle the real causes.

This conference believes that calls for restrictions on freedom of movement for people, and our right to work without discrimination based on nationality, conceded ground to the racist myth that migration, rather than the actions of government and employers, are the causes of the problems that face us. Such calls encourage blaming of migrant workers in the UK and undermine the solidarity we need to tackle our problems.

This conference resolves to:
1. Redouble our opposition to racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia and our solidarity with migrants
2. Oppose calls to restrict free movement of people or the right to work and to defend employment rights and anti-discrimination legislation
3. Campaign to highlight the real causes of poor housing, jobs and services and the part played by migrants and BAEM people in fighting against them

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