Miliband: Unions backbone of UK

Labour leader Ed Miliband said union members are the "backbone of Britain" in his keynote speech to the TUC conference. He added that Labour's relationship with unions "must change" and admitted that would be a "massive challenge."

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Re-cap: Miliband delivers speech to TUC conference

Ed Miliband has delivered a key note speech to the TUC conference in Bournemouth where he called for a "new relationship" between Labour and the unions.

He also made the following points:

  • He said zero hour contracts had been misused adding that flexibility was a good thing, not exploitation
  • Miliband said a Labour government would get young people working
  • He said it would be a "massive challenge" to change Labour's links to the unions but added that change "must happen"
  • Miliband claimed the Prime Minister "oozes contempt for trade unionists"
  • He called Trade Union members the "backbone of Britain"
  • The Labour leader praised people who are at work "before George Osborne's curtains are open"

Labour MPs praise Ed Miliband's TUC speech

Labour MPs have taken to Twitter to praise Ed Miliband's speech to the TUC conference:

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Ed Miliband commits next Labour Government to building the homes we need.

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Pleased to see @ed_miliband pressing ahead with party reform- right we ask how to get best out of working with each other in 21st century..

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Good response here at #TUC2013 to @ed_miliband 's determination Lab will work with TUs and for working people - while Cameron dismisses you.

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Britons 'back trade unions but want them out of politics'

A majority of Britons have backed trade unions but want them to stay out of politics, according to the ITV News Index.

Len McCluskey, General Secretary of the union Unite. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

In a poll of 2,025 adults conducted by ComRes for ITV News, twice as many people think trade unions are good for the UK (49%), than those who disagree (22%), with 30% saying they did not know.

When asked whether trade unions should spend more time helping people in the workplace and less time getting involved in politics, 68% agreed with that statement, 12% disagreed and 20% said they did not know.

Miliband: Cameron 'oozes contempt' for union members

Labour leader Ed Miliband told the TUC Conference that David Cameron "oozes contempt" for their members.

Labour leader Ed Miliband during his TUC speech. Credit: ITV News

He said: "(David Cameron) writes you off, he writes your members off. He oozes contempt for trade unionists from every pore of his being. What did he say about the trade union movement? He said it was a 'threat to our economy'. Back to being the enemy within.

“Six and a half million people who teach our children, who look after the sick, who care for the elderly, who build our homes, who keep our shops open morning, noon and night.

“How dare he? How dare he say they're a threat to the economy. Your members are the backbone of Britain and let's not forget it friends".

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