TONY BURKE outlines Unite's new campaign to boost productive industry, rebalance our economy and create skilled, useful jobs that will get this country back on the right track
"Britain is booming," or so the media tells us.
The latest quarterly figures for GDP in Britain and Northern Ireland show some economic improvement - but we are far from being on the "path to prosperity" that the Chancellor crows about.
Of the 0.8 per cent improvement in GDP 0.6 per cent again came from the service sector. Manufacturing was almost 9 per cent below "pre-crash" levels.
This is hardly the rebalancing of the economy which George Osborne says has to happen.
And improvement in manufacturing figures has to take into account the figures from the automotive industry which without doubt has been a major success and one the workforce have made a signficant contribution to after years of sacrifice.
That is why Unite is launching its manufacturing strategy Made In Britain - A Unite Strategy for Manufacturing Growth in the UK at our conferences this week.
In the document we argue for a real shift towards an interventionist industrial strategy to ensure that we never have to rely again on the financial and service sector as the basis for our economy.
Our strategy argues strongly that the government and an incoming Labour government must fully support manufacturing in this country.
Unite argues that public procurement is a vital tool to ensuring the stability and growth in the economy and that we also need a new skills ecosystem with quality apprenticeships and top quality training policies on a par with countries such as Germany.
Unite also argues that continuing membership of the European Union is essential to ensure a strong manufacturing base in our country and that having a stable manufacturing workforce in permanent employment with decent employment rights will help the economy grow, rather than the low-paid precarious jobs which are sadly still on offer.
Unite will be rolling out the strategy across our manufacturing sectors.
We will also be campaigning for Made in Britain with politicians. One of our key demands is that the next Labour government appoints a minister for manufacturing with a seat in the Cabinet to ensure this vital part of the economy stays in focus.
Copies of our document will be widely available and we always welcome not only the views of our own members but also the views of other trade unionists and activists and readers of the Morning Star.
For a copy of the document email Denise.Sherriffs@unitetheunion.org