Chuka tells Cameron: Third of trade unionists are Tory, so stop the union bashing

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna has branded Tory union bashing “bad politics”, amidst reports a third of trade unionists are thought to be Conservative.

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Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna has branded Tory union bashing “bad politics”, following reports a third of trade union members are thought to vote Conservative.

Chuka-UmunnaSpeaking at the Ucatt construction union’s annual conference in Scarborough today, he said:

“Robert [Halfon MP] wrote a pamphlet in March entitled ‘Stop the Union Bashing’.

“Much as it pains me, Robert points out in his pamphlet that almost a third of trade union members in this country are thought to be Conservative voters. It is they who the Tories are attacking.

“The prime minister, his ministers and his backbenchers’ attacks on you are not only wrong. It is bad politics too.”

Relations between the unions and the Tories have been tense recently, following reports David Cameron is backing the controversial Beecroft report which proposes tearing up employment red tape to make it easier to dismiss staff.

At Prime Minister’s Questions last Wednesday, Cameron came to blows with Ed Miliband, accusing him of being too sympathetic with the unions. The prime minister said:

“Of course, you cannot support any changes to employment regulation because you are in the pocket of the trade unions.”

 


See also:

Umunna’s arguments expose the ideological divisions in the coalition 12 Mar 2012

Osborne’s solution to unemployment? Make it easier to unemploy people 7 Mar 2012

Chuka Umunna: My vision for One Nation Labour 12 May 2011


 

Umunna went on to criticise Cameron’s attitude to the trade unions:

At a time of national crisis, when he could be drawing us together, he has sought to divide and rule. We saw it over the dispute on public sector pensions last year. We saw it during the fuel tanker drivers dispute this year.

“We saw it at Prime Minster’s Questions last week. Ministers seeking to divide public from private, trade union member from non trade union member – sowing the seeds of division instead of building consensus.”

By launching scathing attacks on trade unions and union members, and assuming all are allied with Labour, Cameron is effectively driving away the third of trade unionists who support him.

 


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21 Responses to “Chuka tells Cameron: Third of trade unionists are Tory, so stop the union bashing”

  1. Lord Blagger

    “Much as it pains me, Robert points out in his pamphlet that almost a third of trade union members in this country are thought to be Conservative voters. It is they who the Tories are attacking.

    =============

    So why aren’t 1/3rd of Union funds going to the Tories?

    What about Lib Dem members?

    What about members who don’t want to fund any party?

  2. Lord Blagger

    We saw it over the dispute on public sector pensions last year.

    =======

    That’s because one section, a small minority, want vast sums of money from the rest. More than the entire government borrowing (but less than the true debts)

    Why should one small group get all the benefits and the rest the pain?

  3. IRejectFPTP

    .@ChukaUmunna tells Cameron: Third of trade unionists are Tory, so stop the union bashing, writes @KatieDagger: http://t.co/nIKrnprN

  4. Labour's BIS team

    .@ChukaUmunna tells Cameron: Third of trade unionists are Tory, so stop the union bashing, writes @KatieDagger: http://t.co/nIKrnprN

  5. William Anderson

    .@ChukaUmunna tells Cameron: Third of trade unionists are Tory, so stop the union bashing, writes @KatieDagger: http://t.co/nIKrnprN

  6. Anonymous

    That’s right, your 1% are doing precisely that. And yes, why should you?

    Meanwhile, Trade Unionists want non-scam pensions. SHOCK, HORROR.

  7. Anonymous

    Not all unions have a political levy. Paying into it is voluntary, for any Union member.
    Many Tory trade union members chose not to pay the levy.

    This is all very basic stuff, but you don’t know it, unsurprisingly.

  8. robert delahay

    .@ChukaUmunna tells Cameron: Third of trade unionists are Tory, so stop the union bashing, writes @KatieDagger: http://t.co/nIKrnprN

  9. Liza Harding

    .@ChukaUmunna tells Cameron: Third of trade unionists are Tory, so stop the union bashing, writes @KatieDagger: http://t.co/nIKrnprN

  10. Max

    .@ChukaUmunna tells Cameron: Third of trade unionists are Tory, so stop the union bashing, writes @KatieDagger: http://t.co/nIKrnprN

  11. KATE BUTLER

    .@ChukaUmunna tells Cameron: Third of trade unionists are Tory, so stop the union bashing, writes @KatieDagger: http://t.co/nIKrnprN

  12. Labour for Reddish

    .@ChukaUmunna tells Cameron: Third of trade unionists are Tory, so stop the union bashing, writes @KatieDagger: http://t.co/nIKrnprN

  13. Blarg1987

    Trade Unions don;t represent the minority, they represent the majority of workers in an organsiation, the problem is that trade union membership has fallen over the last 20 odd years so they are in the minority but they are the ebst way to improvew workers pay and conditions for the majority of employees.

    We seem to have gotten a culture of if someone is better paid then me they should be brought down instead of why are they better paid then me, and what can we as employees do to get better terms and conditions for doing the equivelent job.

    The idea that we don;t need trade unions and that if people work hard they will become an invaluable member of staff so their employer will pay them more if they ask for a pay rise is not generally true, we are all replaceable so the only way to guarentee continued improving wages and conditions is through a union or partnership.

    Untill someone comes up wth a better idea those are the only practical ways to prevent an employer scrwing over its employees.

  14. rosiebytheseashore

    .@ChukaUmunna tells Cameron: Third of trade unionists are Tory, so stop the union bashing, writes @KatieDagger: http://t.co/nIKrnprN

  15. Mark Martin

    Chuka tells Cameron: Third of trade unionists are Tory, so stop the union bashing
    http://t.co/DPwCo1Jt

  16. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: Chuka tells Cameron: Third of trade unionists are Tory, so stop the union bashing http://t.co/OFXnVSfI

  17. sean

    RT @leftfootfwd: Chuka tells Cameron: Third of trade unionists are Tory, so stop the union bashing http://t.co/OFXnVSfI

  18. JC

    I hadn’t noticed any union bashing going on. I have seen major antagonism towards the coalition government from trade union leaders with personal attacks on cabinet members and threats of general strikes. Nowhere near the equivalent from the government though.

  19. Rutting_wookie

    Not all unions are politically affiliated, yes some of the biggest ones are, but a sizeable chunk arent. If members want to affiliate that would be done through their union’s main conference.

  20. Matt Wardman

    “Pay it where we say, or shut up” is not acceptable for organisations which claim to represent all of their members, but patently do not.

    Partisan politics pretending that they were supported by all the members is one reason I got out of my union.

    Do they want me back, or not?

  21. Anonymous

    Not, why would they want people who are hostile to the way they’re set up?

    If you can distort the purpose of the political levy that far, you’re not exactly going to be an asset.

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