We are Unite Youth Dublin and we are active young members of Unite the Union in the Greater Dublin Area.
We were appalled to learn that the leadership of our union had decided to back the renewal of the Trident missile programme at the recent conference of the British Labour Party. This stood against the views of many progressive voices in the grass-roots of the Party as well as its newly elected leader, Jeremy Corbyn, whom Unite had supported for this position.
It should not need to be stated that as leftists and as trade-unionists; we are opposed to all forms of nuclear armament. We view the funding of such weapons at the expense of public services as inherently short-sighted and regressive.
We also refute the idea that such weapons can be built, and not used, only to exist as ‘a deterrent’. These are weapons designed to destroy humanity, on a mass scale, and there is absolutely no guarantee that this will not happen in our lifetime.
During the Cold War, we existed under the shadow of a nuclear apocalypse; sadly these lessons were not learned and the decision to renew Trident ensures future generations will live in the same way. Should this threat eventually come to pass; it will be working class people – pensioners, students, the unemployed and children who will the pay the price for decisions made by a privileged few; which in this case includes the leadership of our own union.
The dishonest suggestion that Trident should be renewed ‘to protect jobs’ is not one we would share. The billions saved from non-renewal could be used to prioritise other projects to provide work for our members, or if necessary, retraining and guaranteed employment in other industries. Our role as a union is to ensure a continuous high standard of living for our members; this does not have to involve the construction of nuclear weapons.
We stand in the tradition of the Committee of 100 who first formed the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and led a movement of non-violence and civil disobedience against nuclear arms. We stand for peace, jobs, human rights and socialism.
We offer our apologies to every member who feels, like us, betrayed by this decision on Trident. We also guarantee that Unite Youth Dublin will do everything within its means to ensure that Unite becomes a union opposed to the existence of nuclear weapons in any form.