BFAWU: Ed Miliband must “put clear blue water” between Labour and Tories

BFAWU leader calls on Labour leader Ed Miliband to put clear “blue water” between the Labour Party and the Conservatives, warning that support for from the trade unions for Labour “must be reciprocated.”

Addressing the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union annual conference in Bridlington,  Ronnie Draper – General Secretary of the BFAWU told delegates that attacks on the NHS from the Tory led government were born out of resentment for achievements under the 1945 post war Labour administration.

He accused the Tories of wanting to make a fast buck for their “rich friends” in big business.

“Born out of Labour principles, praised by the British working class and resented by the Tories, the NHS is still resented by the Tories,” he said.

“Now 68 years later we have already seen Thatcher privatise all the nationalised industries, water, rail, electricity, telephone, building society’s and gas.”

“The NHS was never their idea and they have treated it with disdain ever since, until they found that there was a fast buck to be made from selling off the lucrative parts to private enterprise.”

Although, Mr Draper said the union wholeheartedly supported the election of a Labour government at the next general election, he urged Labour leader Ed Miliband to put clear blue water between the party and the Tories.

“We want clear blue water between Labour and the Tories, none of which the Labour leadership are currently promoting,” he said.

“Instead we get spin, inactivity and silence.”

“In the workplace we have seen protective legislation being withdrawn without any Labour leadership opposition.”

“We should demand that access to justice for industrial accidents and occupational illnesses is reversed.”

Mr Draper noted that progress on the economy was possible if Britain followed the examples of Germany and the USA who continue to go from strength to strength due to large scale investment in productive industries.

But with the privatisation of the NHS affecting working people, the disabled and unemployed across Britain, Mr Draper added that “direct action” by the trade union movement was key to opposing the government.

“If ever there was a reason for the public to rise up against this government whether we call it a general strike, a political dispute or society rebellion, the defence of the NHS ring all the bells and pushes all the right buttons,” he concluded.

“Nothing should unite us more or drive us more to succeed.”

–          For further enquiries or an interview with Ronnie Draper, please contact John Millington on 07931316547 //

Notes to editors:

·         Keynote speakers to address conference over the next week include Ronnie Draper – general secretary of the BFAWU, distinguished economist Ann Pettifor and Green Party leader Natalie Bennett.

·         The BFAWU represents over 20,000 workers in food, baking and allied services industries across the UK and Northern Ireland.

·         It is an affiliate to the UK Labour Party.