Five leading members of UNITE, the largest trade union in the United Kingdom, have endorsed RISE - Scotland’s Left Alliance.

The members include the Vice-Chair of Unite Scotland and the elected leaders of Unite Scotland’s Women, BAEM and Young members' organisations.

UNITE, which is formally affiliated to the Labour Party, has been at the forefront of the campaign against Tory-imposed austerity and is fighting to block the implementation of the Trade Union Bill, which represents a draconian attack on workers' rights.

The UNITE members' decision to join RISE confirms the growing momentum of the Left Alliance as the Holyrood election approaches in May.

Debbie Figures, Vice Chair of Unite Scotland and Chair of Unite Scotland - Women’s Committee, said:

"Having represented workers from across the country for more than a decade, I know how much the workers of Scotland need an alternative which challenges the failed economics of neo-liberalism.

"Having also been a member of both Scottish Labour and the SNP, I know that the people of Scotland deserve a stronger and more radical voice. 

"RISE can be that radical voice for workers. As a trade unionist and community campaigner, I am very proud to be a member."

Graeme Ewart, Unite Scottish Executive Committee, Aerospace and Shipbuilding, said:

"Over the last 30 years we have seen a dramatic shift in the Scottish economy away from high quality, well-paid jobs in manufacturing and towards weak service sector jobs in which poverty wages and zero hours contracts are all too prevalent.

"RISE is the only force in Scotland with the long term strategy to tackle this jobs crisis, which is why I will be campaigning for RISE candidates at the Holyrood elections."

Bryan Simpson, Unite Executive Council - Young Members, said:

"For more than three decades the people of Glasgow have been taken for granted by a Labour Party which became negligently complacent about the people it was elected to serve.

"Now we have an SNP government which claims to be more progressive but which implements cuts in the public services we rely on, affecting both service providers and users.

"What the working people of Scotland need more than ever are representatives at Holyrood who will fight for the best interests of the millions and not the millionaires."

Sean McLaughlan, Chair, Unite Scotland Young Member’s Committee, said:

"As a trade-unionist and a socialist, certain things matter to me: a commitment to workers' rights; open and transparent democratic structures; and the endeavour to create a more powerful and representative voice for workers.

"RISE can offer a genuine voice for workers.

"With the foundations of RISE firmly placed within the grassroots movement born out of the referendum, RISE has the unique ability to shape a new electoral alliance from the ground up, free from corporate influence and designed entirely around the concerns and priorities of our members.

"I believe that RISE can offer a credible, powerful and fearless approach to call out and hold to account, the exploitative and unscrupulous bosses in Scotland."

Suki Sangha, Unite Scottish Executive Committee, BAEM members, said:

“There are thousands of young workers out there, undervalued and exploited by an economic system which forces them into zero-hours, poverty pay work. RISE can give a voice to these people, not just in Holyrood but on the streets, in our workplaces and communities”

Contact: Bryan Simpson 07891118390