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60% of GMB union members back Smith over Corbyn

Members of the GMB union have backed Owen Smith over Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader in a consultative ballot.

Owen Smith voted for the renewal of Britain's Trident nuclear deterrent while Jeremy Corbyn's opposed it. Credit: PA Wire

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.

60%
GMB members backing Owen Smith as Labour leader.
40%
GMB members backing Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.

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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Union urges UK jobs protection in Pfizer, Astra deal

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.

The GMB has called for the Government to safeguard business from going abroad Credit: Press Association Images/Stefan Rousseau

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.

GMB union: Energy inquiry 'bad for jobs in the UK'

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.

– Gary Smith, GMB national secretary for energy

Union claims Environment Agency jobs still set to go

Plans to axe jobs at the Environment Agency will be raised at fresh talks this week despite assurances from the Prime Minister that no jobs would be cut during the current flooding crisis, a trade union claims.

The GMB said a meeting has been arranged for Thursday at which they believe a timetable will be discussed for pressing ahead with up to 1,700 redundancies.

Flooding near Laleham in Surrey. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Last week the Environment Agency (EA) announced that any job cuts would be put on hold as it dealt with the effects of widespread flooding, a position reinforced by David Cameron as he visited areas affected by the bad weather.

The GMB said it was clear the agency would press on with redundancies after the floods have receded, calling the plan "ludicrous".

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