Opinion Former Article

Unite: London's vote could spur end to nation's austerity nightmare

With under one week to go until the most important election for London in a generation, the leader of the country's biggest union, Unite, is urging Londoners to put the national interest along side their concerns for the capital when they go to the polls on 3 May.

A nationwide survey for Unite reveals that almost seven out of 10 Londoners (67 per cent) are worse off after the budget, with just over seven out of 10 (72 per cent) working Londoners reporting that they do not have enough money to last the month.

Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey said that, with the UK economy now in a double-dip recession, the London election could be the spur to force an end to the Tory-led government's austerity straightjacket: “Londoners face a choice of national significance next Thursday - between a Labour Mayor and Assembly in London committed to cutting transport fares and bringing the people of London together, and a Tory who is in the rogue bankers' pocket and is disastrously out of touch with the needs of ordinary Londoners.

“It is vital that Labour supporters understand that every vote counts in the London elections. A big win for Ken Livingstone and for Labour Assembly candidates will send the clearest possible message to the increasingly-discredited government that we want an end to austerity and an alternative based on fairness and equality.”

Unite has been calling for a pro-growth, no-cuts strategy to kickstart the economy, with a huge emphasis on housing and infrastructure projects. The union has been in dialogue with members since January 2011 following them as they cope with shrinking income and community cuts. The full poll will be published in coming weeks.

ENDS

For further information contact the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065 or Alex Flynn, Unite head of media and campaigns on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665 869.

Notes to editors
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.
 

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