The leader of one of the UK’s largest trade unions has warned workers that “no politician is coming to save” them.
Sharon Graham, the newly-elected leader of the Unite union, will use her speech to the Trade Union Congress virtual gathering on Monday to dismiss the ability of MPs of any party, including Labour, to improve employment conditions.
“It’s time that our focus was on winning at work,” she will say. ”No politician is coming to save us.
“No Westminster project is going to deliver pay rises for our members or defend them from bad bosses.
She will tell union members: “That is our job. We need to do it ourselves.
“The set routine of policy demand, followed by rhetorical claims linked to media releases, and finished with a lobby, has not succeeded. It is time to change that. It must end. It doesn’t work. It hasn’t worked.”
Graham led Unite’s Organising and Leverage Department, which specialises in taking on hostile employers, before surprising many to win the race to succeed Len McCluskey as general secretary.
In her previous role she led disputes at British Airways and Crossrail as well as campaigning to unionise Amazon.
Leftwinger Graham had warned Labour leader Keir Starmer there would be “no blank cheque” for the party if she won the contest.
Unite, with its 1.2 million members, is a significant donor to the Labour Party.
Her campaign slogan in the union election was: “It’s Westminster versus the workplace: Back to the workplace.”