One union boss has said that Sir Keir Starmer must be “working class friendly” to be effective in Opposition to the Conservative government.
Speaking to Sky News political correspondent Jon Craig ahead of Labour’s party conference, RMT director Mick Lynch said Sir Keir had to “show in a way that he identifies with the struggles that working people have achieved”.
It came like Railway workers prepare to strike again next week in their long-running dispute over wages, jobs and conditions.
Mr Lynch said he did not expect Sir Keir to join a picket line himself, but had to oppose the “anti-union law” the Conservatives were planning to introduce.
He told Sky News: “We would certainly like to see working people defend a little more firmly in these difficult times.
“Work has to show that it’s on the side of ordinary people in this country who are really struggling.
“Keir Starmer has to show a way, don’t expect him to come into our line, I’m not so naive, but to show a way that he identifies with the difficulties that those who work had contracted.”
Mr. Lynch continued: “These new anti-union laws are a real bottom line for him, he has to stand up for and at these conferences and say I will oppose these laws.
“We will have to face an imposed poverty, and there is a danger that there will be no opposition, or political opposition, opposition in the workplace through unions, or on the road. through the right to protest.
“We want him to win the election but we want him to do it on the basis that working people can fall behind – he can’t get down to business and the Daily Mail every day. sometimes, he has to get to know working-class people.”
The next rail workers’ strikes will take place on 1 and 5 October – at the start and end of the Conservative party conference in Brighton.
Asked about the timing of the strikes, Mr. Lynch replied: “We have to make the action as effective as possible. It’s never a good time to have a strike…anything.” we do, we will be criticized.
“We have to pursue our case as best we can. What I want to do is settle and suspend that action.”
Going to Labour’s party in Liverpool before that, Sir Keir vows to lay out a plan for “an economy that works for working people” – unlock “growth for all”.
But the event comes as the Labor leader faces questions about his position on shadow ministers joining picky lines.
It follows the firing of shadow transport minister Sam Tarry after he gave a series of interviews from one.
Labor was born from the union movement and still benefits significantly financially from union affiliation – although not from the RMT.
The Labor Party said this year’s conference would welcome more than 12,000 attendees over four days of policy discussions, training and events.