Corbyn: Labour and the unions can protect each other
JEREMY CORBYN hailed the victories of the shopfloor workers over George Osborne yesterday as he recalled the year’s fights against tax credit cuts and longer Sunday trading hours.
Speaking to delegates at the Usdaw annual conference in Blackpool, the Labour leader said that his party and trade unions together could “provide strength and security for each other.”
The mood was clear as delegates repeatedly labelled Mr Corbyn “Britain’s next prime minister” in their contributions to debate.
“Together we can change opinions, together we can do things,” he said.
“When we won those votes on Sunday trading in Parliament it wasn’t just a parliamentary victory, very important as that was, that was the culmination of a campaign by your union and its members.”
Mr Corbyn also pledged to increase Mr Osborne’s con-trick national living wage, slating it as not being a “real living wage for workers of all ages.”
The £7.20 per hour new rate applies only to workers over the age of 25 and has been criticised by experts for not truly covering living costs across Britain.
Well-known high-street chains such as Eat and Waitrose have cut their workers’ perks, including overtime rates, in response to the new rate’s introduction.
Mr Corbyn asked that since young people’s costs were “not that different why should they not have access to the minimum wage?”
A third of Britain’s retail workers are under 25.
Mr Corbyn also added that he wanted to “lead a Labour Party that ends the indignity of zero-hours contracts.”
His speech was received with a standing ovation and an offer from Usdaw general secretary John Hannett of “a real tie,” which the Labour leader wore for the rest of the day.