Unite conference ducks out of Trident debate

The Unite union’s first policy conference got underway in Manchester yesterday. Expect plenty of motions to be passed calling for more support for manufacturing, restoring trade union rights and taking back Labour, as the FT notes. But among one of the more contentious issues up for debate was going to be the Trident nuclear deterrent.

Many Unite rank and file members (most of whom pay the political levy that funds Labour) share the views of the Labour left and centre-left about Trident, i.e. they want to cancel it. But Unite also represents thousands of workers in the aerospace and shipbuilding sectors, some of whom will build the nuclear submarines that will carry the new deterrent.

So it’s unsurprising that one pro-Trident motion was last week jostling with at least five anti-Trident motions in the conference agenda. But I’m told that situation has now been resolved: the Unite executive committee will issue a statement that seeks to respect everybody’s views, thus avoiding a messy argument. Which means one less story for the likes of me.

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