Jeremy Corbyn has notched up yet another ringing endorsement from the trade union movement – the overwhelming support of York & District TUC. In a press release issued yesterday, the trade union umbrella group – representing unions throughout the York and District area, laid out their reasons for supporting the embattled incumbent candidate:
Following a delegate meeting held on Wednesday 10th August 2016, York & District TUC are supporting the candidature of Jeremy Corbyn in the upcoming contest for the leadership of the Labour Party. Corbyn was elected last year with a huge mandate from Labour Party members – the largest mandate of any leader in the history of British politics. In addition, the Labour Party has almost tripled in size to become the largest political party in Europe. We believe this shift has been the result of widespread dissatisfaction with the Thatcherite monetarist economic policies of successive Governments over the last 35 years. The enthusiasm for Corbyn’s brand of “people politics” has taken the country by storm; Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell’s 10-point plan for the regeneration of the British economy, which include a 500 billion investment in the economy via a National Investment Bank, proposals to build one million new homes in Labour’s first term with rent controls and secure tenancies, strengthened employment rights and an end to zero hour contracts, is ambitious but based on sound economics of investment and a return to the public ownership of key utilities which for years have been bled dry by private companies. The Conservatives’ ideological madness of brutal cuts and austerity instead of badly-needed investment, which has been imposed by Right-wing Governments right across Europe, has proven to be an absolute disaster for all but the super-rich, stifling growth and driving down living standards for millions. As part of this, the bleeding of money and resources from publicly owned utilities by private companies and huge corporate interests – particularly within the National Health Service, and the allowance of the pernicious hand of big business in utilities owned by the general public, has resulted in an ever-widening gap between rich and poor, and abject misery for millions of ordinary people. Labour has won every by-election and every mayoral election since Corbyn became leader – with some of these elections seeing a swing to Labour of over 10%. Contrary to what the pollsters would have us believe, these socialist policies have huge support among the public, and especially within the labour and trade union movement. We believe Jeremy Corbyn and the excellent new team around him have reinvigorated the Labour Party with policies consistent with those of the trade union movement, and as a result, have taken the decision to offer our full support to him in his bid to retain the leadership of the Labour Party.
Commenting on the vote to give Corbyn their endorsement, York TUC President Leigh Wilks said that York & District TUC had a long and proud history of involvement with young people – those most affected by the “Thatcherite monetarist” consensus referred to in the statement. “We must remember that this consensus has ruled the roost for the last 35 years, and is now – especially through the catastrophic austerity being imposed across Europe, utterly discredited. Corbyn’s 10-point plan for the regeneration of the economy through investment in infrastructure is the very opposite of that consensus – indeed, it is exactly what we did following the Second World War, when our bankrupt nation set up the Welfare State and the NHS. Not just trade unionists, but ordinary voters no longer buy into the idea that you can cut your way to growth, and because of these insane and ideologically-driven policies, the UK economy has been flat-lining for years. Those who think that the poor should pay for the disastrous economic policies of the 1% are in for a nasty shock – and the proof of that is in the tripling of Labour Party membership since Jeremy Corbyn took power. There is a fundamental shift taking place across Europe – a movement of the people against the super-rich 1%. We can see it in other countries – in Greece, Portugal, and – very nearly in their recent elections – in Spain as well. The era of Thatcherism is finished. It’s time to get on with building things and creating the jobs, prosperity and security that goes with them.”
Danny Myers, Secretary of York & District TUC, addresses the crowd at Corbyn’s recent rally in York
Steve Howley, York TUC’s delegate and Regional Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union
Corbyn jokes with the crowd of thousands of supporters in St Helens’ Square, York
*all photography copyright to Leigh Wilks (c) 2016
Original PDF Press Statement Document: