Last Tuesday (13th October), the Irish Unite Youth Conference unanimously passed the following motion regarding Unite’s position on the renewal of the Trident missile programme. The motion will now be discussed at the National Unite Youth Conference (IRE + UK) held next month where our two Irish reps will defend this position. Should this conference also vote to pass the motion, then it will be taken to the National Unite Executive.
‘We, the Irish young members of Unite, would like to register our opposition to Unite’s support for the renewal of the Trident missile programme.
The Irish trade-union movement has a proud tradition of supporting peace initiatives across our island and abroad. Furthermore, Irish workers have been steadfast in demonstrating against militarism and war through strong mobilisations against the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and numerous other countries.
It is clear that the union’s support for the renewal of Trident runs contrary to these values.
We view the existence of nuclear armaments as a real threat to working people around the world which should be opposed by trade-unions.
We acknowledge that the union’s position exists to protect jobs but we do not agree that opposing Trident is incompatible with this stance.
The role of our union is to put forward progressive viewpoints in society while also defending the working conditions of our members. Were a situation to arise where Trident was not renewed, our union should fight to ensure that our members are guaranteed employment and retraining for work in other sectors unrelated to nuclear armaments. It should also be guaranteed that such employment would be located within the same geographic areas. The scrapping of Trident would release billions of pounds of public funds which could be used as leverage by Unite to secure these guarantees for our members.’