We are an industrial union and we need an experienced industrial negotiator to lead it. I’ve been a workplace rep, a Branch Secretary, I’ve represented my branch on the Trades Council, I’ve been an officer, I helped establish Unite’s organising department. I’ve been a national officer representing many sectors including Aviation, Road Transport, Docks, Waterways and as Assistant General Secretary I’ve been responsible for Manufacturing.
The biggest challenge we have faced in my lifetime as a trade unionist has been the COVID-19 crisis. I have had the responsibility of representing Unite to protect members’ safety, jobs and wages, in negotiating with the government - the chancellor and business secretary in particular - and industry bodies to secure various support packages to help working people through the crisis. I’ve worked constructively with the Labour Party, building coalitions with employers and trade bodies to defend our members.
I believe that Unite does not and should not stand alone. We are part of the Labour and Trade Union Movement. I’ve represented our Union within the TUC, the ETUC and on our sister international secretariats. International solidarity is massively important and the relationships I’ve built with trade unionists around the world helps Unite when we need support for our struggles.