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Jerry Hicks statement: Break the law not the poor!

8 February 2011

Yesterday Manchester Labour council leader Sir Richard Leese announced wholesale savage cuts whilst he talked of disaster, despair and misery. 

On the same day as the  latest council wielded its axe, BA rolled over Unite, again using the  anti union laws brought in by the Tories, left unchanged by 3 terms and  13 years of Labour and unchallenged by the TUC. This time without even going to court!

Jerry Hicks, who shocked everyone when recently coming  a highly placed second in the General Secretary election for Unite on a  strong and uncompromising platform said: "Now is the time to fight the cuts, set an illegal budget and confront the law. Our union and the TUC  have been big on rhetoric, which now needs to be converted into  reality. It’s not enough for our leaders to tell us they oppose  something. There has been talk of co-ordinated action around the cuts. 

What I believe is needed is for Manchester City Council to set an  illegal budget with the support of Unite and for our union to extend  the strike at BA".  "The employed and unemployed, pensioners and 
students, we are at a watershed moment. Do we comply, cower and obey or  do we inspire, organise and fight".

This is a crisis not of our making.  The bosses of the banks and financial institutions caused this and we  bailed them out. The Con Dem government have set out a cuts agenda but  we should in no circumstances pay the price in cuts to jobs, pay,  pensions and services. There is a clear choice - do we pay or should  the very rich and big business, who through their avoidance and  evasion, have failed to pay £120billion in non collected tax.

There has  to be more to being in the biggest trade union in the country than  ‘angry words’ and more gain from funding Labour to the tune of £10s millions than this. It’s time we realised our full potential, becoming  the most powerful union by making a difference.

If not now when? People  power can change things when a million broke the law by refusing to pay  the Poll Tax. People in Tunisia and Egypt are risking everything to  challenge old orders. 

The TUC demonstration in London on March 26th  has the banner title of ‘There is an alternative’. This should be the  day we say ‘confront the anti union laws, defy the cuts, set illegal  budgets’. 
Jerry Hicks is supporting the ‘Grass roots left’ candidates  in the coming NEC election and said he would back any candidate who  supports the same principles.


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