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The new boss of the GMB, Kevin Curran, will make opposing privatisation a central plank of his leadership of the un...
The new boss of the GMB, Kevin Curran, will make opposing privatisation a central plank of his leadership of the union.

The former welder was elected general secretary last week and will take up the post in June. He is a staunch opponent of the further encroachment of the private sector into public services.

In a recent magazine article, Mr Curran said: 'When a private company has to choose between profit margins and providing a first-class public service, they will choose the former. It's called capitalism.'

Employers' Organisation deputy executive director Rob Pinkham welcomed Mr Curran's election, but said his one concern was his future opposite-number's stance on privatisation.

He said: 'If that means opposition to partnerships it could be problematic. I think Mr Curran will have to deal with the realities.'

National secretary for public services Mick Graham said it will be a case of more of the same at the GMB when Mr Curran takes over from John Edmonds.

He said: 'Kevin was elected on an anti-privatisation ticket, opposed to PFI. I see no change in the union's policies as a result of Kevin's election. We will continue to argue for directly-funded services under democratic local control.'

Mr Curran beat off the challenge of Paul Kenny, winning 67% of the vote, and was elected alongside the union's first female deputy general secretary Debbie Coulter.

'There are so many things to do, but I am ready for the challenge ahead. The priorities that concern our members and those that I campaigned on - employment rights, pensions, equality and opposition to privatisation of public services - will be my priorities in office ,' he added.

On taking office Mr Curran has said he will institute an immediate review of the union's relationship with the Labour Party.

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