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Momentum demands Burnham apologises for his ‘anti-worker rhetoric’ against striking workers

MOMENTUM members and trade unionists have demanded that Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham apologise for his “arrogance and anti-worker rhetoric” against striking workers.

A statement emailed to the pro-Corbyn group’s Greater Manchester members today said it was “deeply concerned” at Mr Burnham’s comments attacking construction workers who took unofficial strike action last Tuesday.

The agency workers on the Regent Road roadworks between Salford and Manchester walked off the job over unpaid wages.

The company in charge of the roadworks, Dawnus, went into administration last Thursday, leaving the workers in financial limbo.

However, at a conference of property developers in Cannes, Mr Burnham said that the workers were “arrogant” and suggested that “police action” may be taken against them.

His comments were met with staunch criticism by local residents, and heavily contrasted with the remarks of Salford’s pro-Corbyn Mayor Paul Dennett, who expressed his solidarity with the workers.

The statement by Momentum encouraged readers to pass a motion in local Labour and union branches urging Mr Burnham to apologise.

The statement, which has been seen by the Star, praised workers for “standing up for their rights.”

It also added that Mr Burnham’s language was “completely at odds with the traditions and expectations of the trade union and Labour movement.”

The statement has been supported by Young Labour and Unite’s north-west young members committee.

Unite young members national chairman and Momentum member Damian Bailey told the Star: “Momentum activists and supporters who pound the streets for Labour candidates across the region are incredulous that Mayor Burnham sees fit to attack construction workers.

“It’s especially galling that he has done so from Cannes where he was meeting with international property developers.

“Mayor Burnham should follow the example of Mayor Dennett in Salford and stand shoulder to shoulder with workers who have walked off the job after not being paid.

“He should be fulfilling his key election pledges such as ending homelessness and getting our public services in order, not attacking dignified working people.

“He should reflect on his remarks and his own arrogance which have no doubt caused ill feeling towards Labour across the community.”

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