May 07, 2009

Lancashire workers urged to vote against BNP

Public sector workers in Lancashire are being urged to vote in the European elections amid fears that the BNP could win a seat.

Employees of councils, health trusts and non-teaching staff at schools are being targeted by the campaign being led by public sector workers union Unison. It is urging the workers to use their vote in the June 4 elections.

The European Parliament plays a role in making European Union laws and also has a say over the EU's annual budget. The eight MEPs who are elected will represent the region on issues including environmental protection, consumer rights, energy policy and transport. The BNP is standing in June’s polls.

Katherine Johnson, branch secretary of Unison which has 2,500 members, said: “We have worked hard to develop community cohesion and we are con-cerned this will be undermined if the BNP are elected. The BNP will get £1million worth of funding over five years which we fear will be put into the party not the community.”

In Blackburn with Darwen, the council is joining forces with Unison to make sure all its workers are registered to vote in the elections on June 4. Unison, is working with Searchlight's Hope Not Hate campaign, to increase voter registration and turnout.

Ms Johnson added: “Unison in Blackburn, and Blackburn with Darwen United Against Racism, have joined forces in an anti-BNP campaign. We are working extremely closely.

On Friday, May 15, the council has agreed to allow its workers to wear a t-shirt in support of Unison’s anti-BNP stance. Graham Burgess, returning officer for Blackburn with Darwen, urged people to use their vote.

Blackpool Citizen

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