Unions praise speech by shadow chancellor John McDonnell

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP addressing the PCS fringe meeting at TUC 2015

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP addressing the PCS fringe meeting at TUC 2015

The Labour Party will restore trade union rights if elected in 2020, shadow chancellor John McDonnell announced yesterday.

Speaking at the Labour Party conference in Brighton, the veteran MP said: “A successful and fair economy cannot be created without the full involvement of its workforce. That’s why restoring trade union rights and extending them to ensure workers are involved in determining the future of their companies is critical to securing the skills, development and innovation to compete in a globalised economy. We will promote modern alternative public, co-operative, worker controlled and genuinely mutual forms of ownership.”

Ending his speech by saying “Another world is possible”, he also announced policies to “aggressively” tackle tax avoidance and evasion, introduce a real Living Wage, tackle the gender pay gap, clamp down on exploitative private landlords and build more homes.

His speech was praised by PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka, who said: “This was an inspirational and historic speech that set out a long overdue dividing line between Labour and Tory economic policy, offering hope that there is an alternative to unnecessary and damaging cuts.

“We are delighted that John announced a review and commitment to strengthening HMRC to improve tax collection and close the tax gap, where successive governments have only cut staffing and resources leaving the department unable to cope.

“We look forward to working with John on this review and in tackling tax avoidance and evasion that deprive our public finances of tens of billions of pounds every year.”

After BBC News headlined their report on the speech: “Labour’s John McDonnell: Another world is possible”, FBU general secretary Matt Wrack tweeted: “Not a bad headline for a political story.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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