Hard-Left union barons behind ambulance strikes21/12/2022
Revealed, six-figure salaries of hard-Left union barons behind ambulance strikes: One is a former Communist, another was kicked out of Labour and a third says she’s ‘open to working at the edges of the law’
- Unison’s £120k-a-year Christina McAnea was once a Communist Party member
- Sharon Graham was voted to lead Unite with backing of Socialist Workers Party
- GMB General Secretary Gary Smith’s £135k pay includes £5,000 ‘car benefits’
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The paramedic strikes are being coordinated by union barons earing six figures with links to far-left Labour factions and a taste for the dark arts.
The leaders of GMB, Unite and Unison are all trade union lifers on pay packets that put them firmly in the top 1 per cent – but claim to be on the side of low-paid workers.
Unison’s £120,000-a-year leader Christina McAnea was previously a Communist Party member and makes no secrets of her allegiance to Labour.
The trade union’s president Andrea Egan is so far-Left she was recently expelled from Labour for sharing posts from Socialist Appeal which has been banned from the party.
Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary: The Edinburgh-born trade unionist was rewarded for a lifetime of service to GMB with a £135,000 package when he was elected General Secretary last year. He is pictured on the picket line in Bishop Auckland, County Durham
Sharon Graham was voted Unite General Secretary with the backing of the Socialist Workers Party after promising to be ‘open to working at the edges of the law if necessary’.
While £80,000-a-year Ms Graham has declared she does not wish to get dragged into Labour politics, her three executive council members who specialise in health are openly Labour with Corbynista sympathies.
Another highly rewarded union baron is GMB General Secretary Gary Smith, whose £135,000 pay packet includes £5,000 in ‘car benefits’ and sees him earn nearly four times the average paramedic’s £36,000 salary.
The union bosses’ militant tendencies make it clear that the PM must fast-track plans to ban emergency workers from striking for good.
Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary
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The Edinburgh-born trade unionist was rewarded for a lifetime of service to GMB with a £135,000 package when he was elected General Secretary last year.
Smith joined GMB a 16-year-old gas fitter. The union supported him to study at Ruskin College and he then worked full-time for the union, rising from recruitment officer to General Secretary – meeting his girlfriend Charlotte Gregory, a GMB communications officer, along the way.
The outspoken leader, who backs fracking and a £15 living wage, supported Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership campaign.
But he has been critical of Labour kowtowing to the ‘bourgeoisie environmental lobby’ and reminded the party that the trade unions ‘established’ Labour as a ‘parliamentary wing to combat hostile Tory legislation’.
He has preached solidarity with Mick Lynch’s striking RMT union, joining them on the picket line, and last year ‘celebrated’ his trade union’s ‘radical tradition’ on the birthday of GMB’s co-founder, Eleanor Marx – the daughter of Karl Marx.
Sharon Graham, Unite the Union General Secretary
Sharon Graham, Unite the Union General Secretary: The pugilistic first female leader of Unite swept to power last year with the backing of the Socialist Workers Party on a manifesto for the union to be ‘open to working at the edges of the law if necessary’. She is pictured on the picket line in Coventry
The pugilistic first female leader of Unite swept to power last year with the backing of the Socialist Workers Party on a manifesto for the union to be ‘open to working at the edges of the law if necessary’.
Born in Hammersmith to an Irish mother and Geordie father, Ms Graham frequently boasts of how she staged her first walkout as a silver service waitress at 17.
The trade union lifer studied at the Trades Union Congress’s Organising Academy and rose to become head of the union’s controversial Organising and Leverage Department.
While she was head, the unit compiled a 200-page dossier on Sir Jim Ratcliffe when Ineos suspended a Unite shop steward.
It reportedly included references to the tycoon’s marital status, his children and called to campaign at his house and at football clubs he was interested in.
Though she previously denied being behind the ‘leverage’ plan, she made no apology for targeting bosses personally.
Indeed, in 2019 she boasted she had ordered staff to compile dirty dossiers on 200 of Britain’s top employers.
It helped to see her win 80 per cent of the 450 disputes she oversaw in her first year, securing £150million in extra pay and benefits for members.
Graphic shows: The average response times for Category 1, 2, 3 and 4 calls to ambulance services across England (left), and the average response time for each call (red) compared to the target response time (blue) across all services (right)
Graphic shows: The average time it takes for ambulance services across England to pick up 999 calls
Ms Graham herself receives an £80,000 salary and over £10,000 in benefits as General Secretary.
Ms Graham has now headed up 521 disputes, winning £200million in pay rises and benefits for 100,000 workers.
A spokesman for Ms Graham said: ‘The reality is that what was decisive in her victory was her campaign to turn the union back to winning on ‘jobs, pay and conditions’ for the members.
‘That appealed to members Right, Left and Centre across the union which was more decisive in her runaway victory than any support from a small socialist party to be frank.
‘Leverage follows the money. If that leads to major shareholders who are family members so be it. We aim to move the share price as well the picket line.’
Christina McAnea, Unison General Secretary
Christina McAnea, Unison General Secretary: Former Communist Party member Christina McAnea has come a long way since she was rejected from studying journalism, rising through the ranks of Unison to land the £120,000-a-year top job last year. She is pictured on the picket line in Waterloo, London
Former Communist Party member Christina McAnea has come a long way since she was rejected from studying journalism, rising through the ranks of Unison to land the £120,000-a-year top job last year.
As General Secretary she enjoys over £12,000 of additional perks and appears to live comfortably in a £1.1million four-bed Victorian terrace in Streatham, south London with her husband Robert Hill, 69.
Born in Glasgow, Ms McAnea signed up as a member of the Communist Party aged 16, leaving ten years later after realising ‘you achieve nothing if you’re not in power’.
After City University crushed her dreams of becoming a reporter by rejecting her application, she started her life in unions aged 24.
Though she has previously complimented Jeremy Corbyn’s speeches, she has moderated her views and is a big backer of Sir Keir Starmer and his deputy Angela Rayner.
In other related news…
UK ambulance strikes LIVE: Army drafted in, services declare critical incidents and families take loved ones to A&E after 999 staff walkout as Health Secretary Steve Barclay refuses to meet union
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