Trade Unions

UNISON, PCS, CWU, RMT, FBU, TSSA, ASLEF, NUM, NUT, and UNITY are all nationally affiliated to CND. Unite North West Region, Unite London and Eastern Region and Unite North East, Yorkshire and Humberside have also affiliated.

Other unions, including the UNITE sections TGWU and AMICUS, and also UCATT and the NUJ have voted to oppose the replacement of Trident. Check your union's policy.

 To affiliate as a national or regional trade union, a local branch or a trades councils please use this form

The CND Trade Union campaign can be reached at:  tradeunions@cnduk.org or 020 7700 2393

CNDTUpic1 In 2013, the TUC re-affirmed its opposition to Trident replacement: 'Public finances can also be improved by addressing tax avoidance and scrapping the replacement of Trident. Money saved by ending our nuclear weapons system could be used to sustain the process of defence diversification, vital to our manufacturing future.' [CWU motion ‘Economic Policy’]

The motion, which passed overwhelmingly, was supported by the TSSA, UCATT, FBU, FDA, and Unite. 'Such a policy would need to ensure that the jobs and skills of tens of thousands of workers in the sector were preserved.' This corresponds with CND’s calls for Britain’s skilled workforce to manufacture for peace not war and with the publication of the Nuclear Education Trust’s ‘Barrow Inquiry’. 

Tagging on behind the coattails of US imperialism is not a role we should continue with. We want to be a force for peace. Trident, and its replacement, only makes sense if you envisage our country’s future as enforcing some sort of order upon the world.

This is not the future desired by the majority of people in Britain. Nothing demonstrates this as clearly as the Parliamentary vote against bombing Syria. Confused as the process may have seemed, the position finally carried was one that reflects the war weariness of the British public. This opposition is essentially a product of the work of CND, the Stop the War Coalition and all those who have argued consistently against military assaults upon poor and developing countries."  Read the full text of Billy Hayes' speech to the TUC here.

Bob CrowCND was shocked and saddened to learn of the death of RMT General Secretary Bob Crow in March 2014. A towering figure in the Trade Union movement, Bob was a dedicated and long standing CND supporter.

At the 2006 TUC Congress, it was Bob Crow who moved the RMT resolution declaring opposition to the replacement of Trident. Following a passionate debate, the resolution was carried overwhelmingly to set TUC policy.

Bob’s favourite analogy for job diversification and Trident was that after society outlawed capital punishment, new jobs had to be found for the executioners - and this goes for Trident too.

Why trade unionists oppose Trident replacement

"As a Trade Unionist and a Socialist there is a moral position when it comes to Trident - I don't want the UK to produce weapons which could kill tens of thousands of innocent people." Tony Kearns, Senior Deputy General Secretary of the CWU. 

Just one Trident warhead is eight times stronger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan which killed over 200,000 people. Britain currently has approximately 220 of these bombs. Trident is the same system that was originally designed to "flatten Moscow". Research shows that if it were ever used it could result in 5.4 million deaths. Its very existence is immoral and illegal.

For many working people, the main reason to oppose Trident, besides its lethal immorality, is its extreme cost.LET-THEM-EAT-TRIDENT 1

The current bill for replacing Trident is £100 billion and rising. Trident sucks billions out of the MOD budget, as well as the wider economy, leading to widespread job cuts across the armed forces. At this time of cuts to jobs, housing and public services, £100 billion could be better spent elsewhere.

£3 billion of our taxes goes to Trident each year. By comparison, building a state-of-the-art hospital costs around £545 million. Providing free school dinners for children from families in receipt of Universal Credit would cost around £500 million per year. There are very few people who cannot think of a better use for £100 billion than nuclear weapons.

We have until 2016 to make it clear to the government that jobs, healthcare, transport, education and renewable energy mean more to the people of this country than dangerous weapons of mass destruction.

Across the country Unions are organising the fight back against the ConDem cuts in public spending. Trident must not be ignored in this debate. To find out what you can do, click here.

 

Trident & Jobs

sonnetMany trade unions oppose the replacement of Trident on principle but have concerns about replacement jobs for workers employed by the nuclear weapons industry.

Read The Barrow Inquiry - an independent report by the Nuclear Education Trust looking at options for Barrow if the government cut Trident.

Read the 2010 CND report Trident & Jobs - which UK jobs are threatened by Trident absorbing billions from other sectors of the UK economy?

Read the 2006 UNISON funded CND report entitled Trident and Employment. It outlines the case for nuclear disarmament and the transfer of the sector's skilled staff into new and growing industries.

 

Tolpuddle Festival

Each year CND attends the Tolpuddle Festival. At our Talking in Tents event in 2011, CND asked Trade Unionists what they would do with £100 billion if they were in Government. Would they spend the money revitalising the NHS, building tens of thousands of new homes, caring for the elderly and funding playgroups schools and universities?

Or would they spend it on a nuclear weapons system with the power to kill millions upon millions of people and render large parts of the planet uninhabitable?

CND's Tolpuddle Talking in Tents event was an open discussion that aimed to find the common ground between those who want to scrap Trident and those whose jobs depend on nuclear weapons. CND General Secretary Kate Hudson was joined by the Senior Deputy General Secretary of the CWU Tony Kearns and Plymouth activist and CND Council member Tony Staunton. The meeting was chaired by CND's Trade Union Officer Tansy Hoskins. Read more.

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Trade union support through the years

Since the establishment of the Campaign in 1958, trade unions have been at the forefront of spreading our message. As early as 1960 the Transport and General Workers' Union took a stance in favour of disarmament and in 1961 won the position at the Labour Party Conference.

As in the 1960s, many trade union branches sent their banners on CND demonstrations in the 1980s, as well as sending donations and delegations to peace camps at bases such as Greenham Common and Molesworth.

We thank all our Trade Union affilates for their support and hope that you will also join us in securing peace and safety for our world. 

 FrancesKateAnneTUCverysmall

The CND Trade Union campaign can be reached at:  tradeunions@cnduk.org or 020 7700 2393

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