Worker welcomes unions' plan to unite for austerity battle
A SWANSEA factory worker has welcomed an alliance between two of the UK's largest unions.
The GMB and Unison have announced they will join forces to form an alliance against the Tory-led coalition's austerity measures.
Les Woodward, national union convener for the GMB at Remploy in the organisation's Fforestfach factory, said the alliance made absolute sense.
Mr Woodward has been a union stalwart and taken part in marches and protests to fight for disabled workers in Remploy who are currently facing redundancy with the potential closure of the Swansea site.
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He said: "It makes sense and we will work with any group to fight against the austerity measures brought in by this Government.
"It is an alliance rather than a merger."
The GMB is also supporting workers facing potential redundancies in companies such as clothing distributor Dewhirst in Ammanford.
More than 100 jobs could be at risk if fears of a the closure of Dewhirst's warehouse are realised. The company will soon start consultation with the GMB and staff over potential redundancies at the site, which has 124 staff.
The GMB and Unison are hoping their alliance will give a strong voice to their combined membership of 2,000,000 workers.
Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary, said: "Trade unions are the only constant beacons of opposition to austerity.
"The destruction of services and jobs under the current Government cannot be allowed to continue without serious challenge.
"The latest announcement threatening to throw onto the streets tens of thousands of young people by ending their housing support whilst multi-millionaire backers of Cameron hide behind tax dodges is the final straw in the argument that we are all in this together.
"The 2,000,000 members of GMB and Unison and their families are a powerful industrial and political force who refuse to accept a future of unemployment, despair and the destruction of ambition for their children."
Dave Prentis, Unison general secretary, said: "This is an historic day for both of our unions, and for the two million workers we represent. Unison and the GMB have always had a strong common agenda, and today we are taking a step closer together.
"Communities the length and breadth of the country are being ripped apart by Tory cuts, while the rich enjoy tax breaks, massive pay rises and bonuses.
"In the face of this continued attack on working people, it makes absolute sense for us to join forces, and speak with one voice against this mindless austerity agenda."
Mr Prentis added: "We will campaign for the issues that really matter to our shared membership and, when the time is right we will take action together."