TUC London East and South East post election message

If you are reading this then I strongly suspect you will share in the deep disappointment about last week’s election result and be only too aware of the challenges, we will now face.

Many of you will have been out campaigning across the region in the seven weeks since the election was called, through your unions and trades councils and as members of political parties. Being out in our communities, seeing again and again why we desperately need a government dedicated to supporting our people and not to funnelling wealth and power into the hands of the few.

Throughout the election there was a huge amount of work done to focus attention on how insecure work, inequality and austerity is damaging our people. As our General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, said on Friday ‘in the face of a campaign that was shameless in its right-wing populism we stood for a radical and hopeful alternative.’

However now the result is in we have to turn our sights to the period ahead: building and growing our movement and our strength, relentlessly holding this government to account, including its next moves on Brexit and standing together against attacks on our rights and our public services, and combating the politics of hate that try to divide working people. We have also seen some great colleagues returned or coming into parliament for the first time in our region and we look forward to working with them.

As a region we will be reviewing our work-plan and adjusting it where needed in the light of the incoming government.

Our core mission remains the same: to make the world of work better;

  • By promoting trade unionism across our region – giving a voice to working people
  • Bringing our unions and trades councils together in an impactful way through; our structures, campaigning and providing information, support and training
  • And being the link/face of the TUC to and from unions and the wider public in our region and delivering on the national TUC campaign plan and regional policy.

But more than ever we will need to focus our resources on;

  • Building our capacity to engage with and share information with union officers, activists and members in the region
  • Increasing our campaigning work on issues raised by our regional council, including; the climate emergency, the housing crisis, tackling the far-right, opposing the roll-out of Universal Credit and dealing with the impact of Brexit on jobs, rights and our colleagues, friends and family from other EU countries
  • Supporting union organising, work-place campaigning and industrial action (including defending the basic right to take strike action) and doing everything we can to support reps and showcase union successes.

At our last regional council I was cautioned by a delegate for saying I was afraid of what a majority Tory government under Boris Johnson could mean for us. She rightly pointed out we had to fight for the future we wanted to see and not be scared. I’ve got to be honest and say I am worried about what a Johnson administration is planning, but I’m also confident in our ability to come together, not just to deal with whatever is thrown at us, but also to build a stronger movement that will remain in the front line fighting for a better future. Whoever is in government trade unions remain a force for good and for change.

Start by asking a friend or family member who isn’t a union member to join and please encourage other reps and activists you know to sign up to receive our regional updates HERE

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