Mr McCluskey is General Secretary of Unite the Union, one of the UK’s biggest trade unions. He enjoyed a resurgence in influence under Jeremy Corbyn, the former Labour Party leader, who took the party back to its socialist roots.
Mr McCluskey was, in 2017, hopeful of a Labour victory.
The party galvanised the support of the young and Mr Corbyn surprised many by stopping Theresa May’s Conservative Party from winning an outright majority.
Yet two years later in the 2019 general election and, running on largely the same manifesto, Labour suffered its worst defeat since 1935.
It marked an end to Mr Corbyn’s Labour and any hope for a left-leaning government in the UK for at least five years.
Unite the Union: Len McCluskey wants to further the influence of trade unions in schools
Labour Party latest: McCluskey and trade unionism enjoyed a resurgence under Jeremy Corbyn
Although a bitter blow to Labour, many recognised a gap in which the party could recoup, rebuild, and grow going into the 2020s.
Sir Keir Starmer has since become the party’s new leader, considered to be somewhere in the middle of the political spectrum although he has repeatedly refused to be baited on such a definition.
The fate of the unions under Sir Keir is so far unclear, but it will take them longer to recover from the fall of their most enthusiastic supporter in decades.
The unions have launched several bids at trying to break into the public’s psyche, one of which is Unite the Union’s breaking on to the national curriculum.
General election 2019: Labour suffered its worst defeat since 1935 under Corbyn in 2019
Mr McCluskey’s Unite in Schools initiative is run by the trade union.
A national programme, it aims to teach students about the role of trade unions in the workplace.
It is mostly targeted at year 10 and 11 students, and can be linked to the National Curriculum under Citizenship for Key Stage 4.
As it stands, Mr McCluskey’s initiative has been forced to suspend as schools across the UK shut amid the coronavirus outbreak.
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Many are, however, on the cusp of opening, with opinion divided over whether children should return.
While many point towards evidence that suggests children are not huge spreaders of the disease, others argue the move puts teachers at risk.
Mr McCluskey will want to relaunch his schools initiative, and described his plan surrounding the scheme during his Oxford Union address in February.
He said: “Now I mentioned earlier how trade unions don’t feature at all on the school curriculum.
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“Even though we’ve played a central role in the history of our nations and in securing the rights that most of you will take for granted when you start working.
“People pay the minimum national living wage, pension rights, family friendly policies, maternity and paternity leave, holiday pay, holidays themselves and much more.
“That was one of the reasons why I came to write my book on why people should be trade unionists.”
He continued: “They should be proud to know what we try to do.
UK schools: Unite in Schools is taught to year 10 and 11 students
“Young people are the most likely to be exploited early on in their work and yet they enter it knowing next to nothing about what trade unions do and how unions can help them and protect them by standing up to the greedy bosses who will take advantage of them.
“It’s why I’m passionate in my belief that learning should include teaching in schools about the role of trade unions in communities and wider society.
“And why we set up our Unite in Schools initiative which goes into schools and speaks to 15 and 16-year-olds about what trade unionism is.
“Inevitably, when I set it up, The Sun newspaper accused me of wanting to recruit kids to Unite in order to brainwash them and start a revolution from the classroom.
“It was nothing of the sort.
“We simply wanted to explain what unions are and facilitate debate about the role they play, about the rights and responsibilities we all have and need to understand the concept of collectivism if they are to do anything about what’s happening in their life.”
— to www.express.co.uk