Unite’s Beckett publicly throws down gauntlet to Starmer: it’s time to step up

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Union’s assistant general secretary publishes video call on Labour leader: step up and protect working people from Tory-induced jobs catastrophe

Senior union official Howard Beckett has taken the remarkable step of issuing a video in which he directly addresses Labour leader Keir Starmer – and tells Starmer to pull his socks up and do his job.

Beckett, fresh from facing down the Labour establishment to save the jobs of furloughed Labour employees who had been sacked by letter from 31 July, warns Starmer of a ‘Tory tsunami of job losses’ that the wind-down and ending of the furlough scheme from August to October will create. He then tells him him to ‘step up’, providing clear steps for Starmer to take, as well as challenging the Labour leader to come up with his own alternatives:

Beckett knows what he is talking about – the furlough scheme owes its existence to work by unions and the then Corbyn-led Labour Party that Beckett spearheaded to force Chancellor Rishi Sunak to change his plan to simply bail out big businesses and instead channel essential funds to working people about to lose their jobs through the lock-down.

Starmer’s job as Labour leader is to stand up for working-class people. His current non-opposition to the Tories’ chaos and wilful neglect – he is called ‘Silent Knight’ by his detractors – will not get that job done.

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