‘We will work with Brown’–Prentis

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‘We demand fairness and justice for our members – and we are prepared to fight and, if necessary strike, to get it,’ UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis pledged in his keynote speech to the union’s national delegate conference in Brighton yesterday.

However, he said that ‘we will work with Gordon Brown to rebuild public confidence in our public services, to usher in a new era that sees the restoration of real Labour values’.

He warned that ‘Labour is drinking in the last-chance saloon’.

But the UNISON general secretary reminded delegates that current Tory leader David Cameron is one of Thatcher’s kind.

Prentis added: ‘They want us to believe that they believe in society, in public services’, but ‘despite their makeovers . . . they’re still the party of privilege, of property and of prejudice.’

He asserted that the best of UNISON is ‘a story worth telling’. He said UNISON Welfare came to the aid of members who had been left in deep distress by the Farepak collapse and praised the union’s work on and commitment to environmental issues

He added that UNISON is committed to campaigning for dignity and respect for migrant workers, sponsors Show Racism the Red Card in football and is offering learning opportunities to ‘members who the education system failed’.