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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 May, 2004, 08:32 GMT 09:32 UK
Unions prepare Labour wish list
Union banners
Unison will be one of the four unions at the meeting
The four biggest unions affiliated to Labour are meeting next week to discuss what should go into the party's next election manifesto.

The private meeting will bring together leaders of Unison, Amicus, the Transport and General and the GMB.

Pensions, help for manufacturing, employment laws and concern over public services are set to be discussed.

T&G leader Tony Woodley said they wanted a manifesto that re-energised the Labour Party's core supporters.

We need more of it, we need labour laws which stop people being sacked via text message
Tony Woodley

Speaking to BBC Radio Four's Today programme on Saturday he said: "Our two objectives are very clear, first of all to keep the incompetent Conservatives out of power.

"The second objective is to see a Labour Party in power with a manifesto that really gets the activists activated again and really motivates the voters."

He said the last seven years had seen some tremendous achievements under Labour and they wanted to see this continue.

"We need more of it, we need labour laws which stop people being sacked via text message, we need support for manufacturing - we need to get our message across and that's what we're going to do."

'Workers disillusioned'

The pre-election summit will also include an invited audience of other general secretaries.

The BBC's labour affairs correspondent Stephen Cape said the focus of the meeting was on key issues that would be portrayed in a new policy document.

Further pension protection, help for an ailing manufacturing industry, employment laws, concern over public services and equality issues will also be on the agenda.

Mr Woodley has said in the past that working men and women were disillusioned with the way the Labour party was going.

And Kevin Curran of the GMB has criticised Tony Blair for leading what he said was a "centre right government".

Last year the Labour leadership suffered two conference vote defeats on controversial plans for foundation hospitals, after the public services union Unison tabled a motion opposing the plans.

At the 2003 TUC annual congress, unions condemned the prime minister's decision to go along with the US-led war against Iraq.

But Amicus wrote to its members last week urging them to support Labour in the European elections on 10 June.

The elections will be the first since the European Union was enlarged from 15 to 25 member states earlier this month.




SEE ALSO:
The trade unions' long decline
08 Mar 04  |  Business
Blair vows no reverse on reform
30 Sep 03  |  Politics
Unions attack 'twisted ideology'
10 Sep 03  |  Politics


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