Unions welcome A Better Plan for Britain’s Workplaces

Labour Party logoUnions have welcomed Labour’s manifesto A Better Plan for Britain’s Workplaces.

The manifesto, published yesterday, sets out what the party says will ensure that those who do a hard day’s work are rewarded for doing so as part of a plan to build an economy that creates secure and better-paid jobs.

The key points are:

  •  Labour will raise the National Minimum Wage to more than £8 before 2020.
  • We will ban exploitative zero-hours contracts – so that if you work regular hours, you get a regular contract.
  • We will make it illegal to use agency workers to undercut wages of permanent employees.
  • We will guarantee an apprenticeship for all school-leavers who get the grades.
  • We will double paternity leave to four weeks and increase the level of pay so that families can afford to take up their entitlement.

The TUC welcomed plans to abolish the employment tribunal fees system and clamp down on exploitative zero-hours contracts.

It also welcomed proposals to have workers sit on company pay committees and to launch an inquiry into the illegal blacklisting of union members by unscrupulous employers.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Today’s proposals will restore some much needed fairness and democracy to the workplace.

“Abolishing tribunal fees and exploitative zero-hours contracts will make it much harder for Britain’s worst bosses to mistreat their staff and undercut good employers.

“And putting workers on to company pay committees will help regain public confidence in executive pay which has shot up by 26 per cent in real terms in the life of this government.

“We need employment rights that are fit for the Twenty-First Century and make people feel secure and productive at work. It is time to end the hire and fire culture of recent years.”

UCATT specifically welcomed the following points:

  •    A full inquiry into Blacklisting that is transparent and public
  • Commitment to tackle all forms of false self-employment in the construction industry
  • An end to exploitative Zero Hours contracts
  • Release of all papers relating to the Shrewsbury 24 trials
  • A review of workplace safety arrangements including support for occupational health

UCATT general secretary Steve Murphy said: “Construction workers and their families are being listened to by Labour, this is shown by their unstinting commitment to implement policies that will address the injustices faced by our members in work today and of course in support of those members that were cruelly Blacklisted in the past.

“Labour has also pledged to release all papers regarding the Shrewsbury trials, again a major step forward in achieving justice for victims of what UCATT believe to be a political conspiracy. These actions can only help inform our members in making their decision to vote for change in May and return a Labour government that will stay true to values of fairness and equality.

“These detailed policies show that Labour and Ed Miliband possess a level of knowledge and understanding about the need to change the way the British economy is run so that it acts in the interest of all not just the privileged few at the top. Ed has shown that he understands the key issues in the world of work that face our members on a daily basis.

“This workplace manifesto sets clear red water between the choice for voters in this general election. It’s progressive change under Labour or tax cuts for the rich and more austerity for the rest under the Tories.”

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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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