Unite Assistant General Secretaries Howard Beckett and Steve Turner today issued the following joint statement in relation to the union’s General Secretary election, in which they are both candidates.
“Throughout this contest we have both been committed to one thing above all – developing further the role our union has played since its foundation as a fighting back, progressive, campaigning force for working people throughout Britain and Ireland.
“It is clear that developing that unique role requires the unity of the left in our union, and of all those representatives and members in the workplaces and beyond who have made Unite a union to be proud of.
“Howard Beckett has decided he will support Steve Turner as Unite’s next General Secretary. Both reconginse the vision and strengths of their respective campaigns and Steve Turner recognises the key manifesto commitments and energy generated by Howards campaign. They will both work to implement a blended manifesto, taking the best ideas from both candidates, when Steve Turner becomes General Secretary. Howard Beckett will campaign alongside Steve for the next two months to present a joint programme which includes greater support for workplace representatives, important new communications initiatives including Unite TV, upgraded education and training for members, an independent and progressive political voice, and a new structure for the union reflecting the diversity of our nations and regions.
“Our programme recognises the central importance of organising and leverage to winning for members in struggle and building the union. We will also put greater resources into ensuring a bigger role for women and black members in the union and greater support in the workplace.
“Steve Turner warmly welcomes Howard Beckett’s support and appreciates his decision to stand aside. As General Secretary two of the most important people in his team will be Howard Beckett and Sharon Graham and the structures of Unite would reflect this.
“On this basis we look forward to taking a united message of positive change to our members up and down Britain and Ireland over the next two months, building on Unite’s strengths while adding much more to what we can offer to working people. We are proud of our union, and look forward to shaping its future together.”