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Hugo Pierre


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From: The Socialist issue 1096, 22 July 2020: Fight for our livelihoods... fight for our lives!

Search site for keywords: Unison - Hugo Pierre - Union - Pay - Cuts - Privatisation - Dave Prentis - Black Lives Matter

Hugo Pierre for Unison general secretary

For a fighting, democratic general secretary, on a workers' wage!

Hugo Pierre speaking at an anti-racism demo 18.3.17, photo Paula Mitchell

Hugo Pierre speaking at an anti-racism demo 18.3.17, photo Paula Mitchell   (Click to enlarge)

The worst-kept secret in public sector union Unison is finally out. Right-wing general secretary Dave Prentis has announced that he doesn't intend to stand in the next general secretary election and will leave office.

He leaves a legacy of failures. He has not led any serious national fight against the decimation of local government, mass privatisation of public services, and endemic low pay - all brutally exposed in the coronavirus pandemic.

In order to cover up his failings, and to silence any opposition, Prentis also embarked on witch-hunts and attacks on democracy in the union. Members now have an opportunity to reclaim their union with a fighting and democratic leader.

While no candidates have formally announced yet, it looks like two from within the bureaucracy will try and inherit his crown, both of whom have not once challenged or opposed his regime, and deserve no support.

In stark contrast, the Socialist Party's Hugo Pierre, a local government worker and current elected member of the national executive council, is looking to be the candidate of the left.

Hugo has already faced elections in ballots of the entire membership, having successfully won and held his national black members' seat on a number of occasions.

Hugo has pledged to stand on a fighting and democratic programme capable of taking on the Tories, and has said he will not take the 138,000 a year salary, instead pledging to only take an average worker's wage if elected.

Hugo's programme

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
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