Jeremy Corbyn left red-faced after Labour staff in Unite union reject below-inflation pay offer

Posted On: 
8th March 2019

Labour staff in the Unite union have voted unanimously to reject a below-inflation pay offer from the party in a major embarrassment for Jeremy Corbyn.

Unite boss Len McCluskey with Jeremy Corbyn
PA Images

Angry workers could now consider strike action unless the party comes up with a better offer than the £600 flat salary increase currently on the table.

The move will pile pressure on Mr Corbyn - who is a close ally of Unite general secretary Len McCluskey. The union is also the biggest funder of the Labour party.

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GMB members working in Labour offices around the country have already voted to reject the below-inflation pay offer.

One source said morale in the London HQ "is at rock bottom - everyone in there is pissed off".

They added: "There is genuine disquiet from all quarters - whether they are Corbyn people or not - that this is not an acceptable deal."

Unite regional officer Matt Smith said: "The rejection of the pay offer by Unite members has been communicated to the employer.

"We have nothing further to add at this stage while negotiations are ongoing."

It comes after reports earlier in the year that the party is struggling financially and must find emergency savings.

Critics point to losses from the Labour Live festival in the summer and the recruitment of local community organisers.

General Secretary Jennie Formy is said to have told the Unite branch meeting this afternoon that pay rises had to be small since the number of staff had increased.

It comes after more than 160 Labour MPs issued a public complaint after their staff were offered a below-inflation pay increase by parliamentary watchdogs.

A Labour party spokesman has been contacted for comment.


Meanwhile, PoliticsHome can reveal that Charlie Falconer has delayed making a decision on whether to take up a role scrutinising Labour's handling of anti-semitism cases.

The peer was prompted to rethink after it emerged the Equalities and Human Rights Commission was poised to take enforcement action against the party over claims it has discriminated against Jewish people.

He said he did not want to end up “duplicating” the work of the human rights watchdog and would wait to see whether it begins a full probe before making his mind up.

It came after Labour peers launched an astonishing attack on Jeremy Corbyn and condemned his “political failure” to tackle anti-semitism in the party.