Socialist Worker

TGWU leader calls for unity against war

Issue No. 1925

FAR FROM going away, opposition to the war and occupation of Iraq is pummelling Tony Blair daily.

That’s why the government and its supporters are now desperately trying to confuse and divide the anti-war movement and its trade union supporters.

Tony Woodley, general secretary of the TGWU, has responded to these manoeuvres:

“It is a time for the tolerant discussion of differences. The anti-war movement must accept that trade unions will always, and rightly, want to offer support to our brothers and sisters abroad, particularly when they are struggling to establish trade unionism in such a difficult environment as Iraq.

“Equally, those of us in the trade union movement must give some credit to the Stop the War Coalition for its achievements.

“It mobilised people when we did not, and it has a right to a different view as to what happened at the party conference.

“We would only be serving the warmongers if we divide now...

“If George Bush is re-elected, the world will remain a deeply dangerous place with new wars threatened—and even if he is defeated, as I hope he is, we cannot afford complacency.

“The anti-war movement is one of the remarkable political achievements of our time.

“Its breadth, strength and unity has helped reinvigorate progressive politics in Britain.

“That has not been without complications. But I am proud of the part trade unions have played in the Stop the War Coalition.

“Certainly, now is not the time for splits or resignations.

“It is a time for unity against the war danger, and unity to get the most rapid possible withdrawal from Iraq.

“We cannot have progress without peace. We will not have peace without a powerful peace movement. Let’s stick together.”

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Sat 30 Oct 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1925
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