“Trade unions should always be embedded in our communities because we remain a vital part of society. As long as bosses can make more money by paying their employees less, or by sacking easily and then hiring cheaply, or by cutting corners on safety, then trade unions will need to exist. No one has come up with a better method of levelling the playing field at work. The obstacles facing us today may seem formidable, but they are far less imposing than those overcome by the first workers to band together more than two centuries ago. Our forerunners had to fight and sometimes die for the right to form unions. They did so because no one is going to protect workers but workers themselves. I believe the ‘fighting back’ culture of Unite is true to that history, and I hope it will stand as an example for the trade unionism of the future.”

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