Controversial union boss in town for UNITE conference

A CONTROVERSIAL union leader who has threatened to lead a series of demonstrations and call for ‘civil disobedience’ during the London Olympics is due in Eastbourne this weekend.

UNITE union chief Len McCluskey hit the headlines recently when he told workers they seriously should consider using strike action to disrupt the 2012 Games as part of an ongoing campaign against the Government’s unpopular spending cuts.

He has been quoted as saying, “The attacks that are being launched on public sector workers are so deep and ideological that the idea the world should arrive in London and have these wonderful Olympic Games as though everything is nice and rosy in the garden is unthinkable.

“The unions have got every right to be out protesting. If the Olympics provide us with an opportunity, then that’s exactly one that we should be looking at.”

He was due in Eastbourne yesterday (Thursday) for a his union’s annual equalities conference, which will take place at the Winter Gardens.

Across the three days of the weekend there will be sessions for female members (today), disabled members (today and tomorrow), delegates who consider themselves an ethnic minority (today and tomorrow), young people (today and tomorrow) and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members (again, today and tomorrow).

And, to kick the conference off, Len McCluskey will this morning address a meeting of all the UNITE delegates.

His comments regarding a mooted disruption of London 2012 have been met by fierce criticism from all sides, including Labour leader Ed Miliband, whose party is partly funded by UNITE.

Mr Miliband said, “Any threat to the Olympics is totally unacceptable and wrong.

“This is a celebration for the whole country and must not be disrupted.”