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Members of the GMB union have backed Owen Smith over Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader in a consultative ballot.
The union balloted its 600,000-plus members, despite only 30,000 being eligible to vote in the leadership election, to gauge the feeling at large.
The union is the third biggest affiliated to the party and one that represents workers on the Trident nuclear weapons programme.
General secretary Tim Roache confirmed he would "proudly campaign alongside Owen" but added: "I hope whatever the final result, the Labour Party will unite when all this is over."
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Council and school workers in the GMB have voted by 3-1 to strike on July 10 over pay, the union said.
The GMB union said that the takeover approach of AstraZeneca by US drugs giant Pfizer has created added insecurity for workers and that any bid should be referred to competition authorities.
It called for a "bankable commitment that manufacturing and R&D [research and development] will continue here" amid fears these could be exported to the Far East.
GMB national officer Allan Black said the Government had a duty to protect against a "hostile approach" which would see business going abroad, adding that such a move would also weigh on the balance of payments deficit.
A major competition inquiry into the 'Big Six' energy firms will be "bad for jobs in the UK, bad for investment and it will do nothing for consumers apart from maybe delay the relentless rise in energy bills until after an election", a union has warned.
The warning from GMB comes after SSE announced yesterday it will cut 500 jobs as part of a cost-cutting programme.
This is designed to kick the issue down the road until after the next election.
The country is in the midst of an energy crisis. Energy bills are going to keep going up. Households will struggle to pay their bills and British industry is losing competitiveness.
The market is being propped up by huge subsidies. Electricity wholesale prices across Europe are dropping. Desperately needed investment has been slashed.