This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
Parliamentary reporter @TrinderMatt
UNIONS welcomed Labour’s “game-changing” proposals to tackle poverty pay and insecure work on the eve of the party’s annual conference today.
The TUC said the plans, which include sector-wide fair pay agreements where ministers work with worker reps and bosses to agree minimum rates and set working conditions, would help to ensure “hard work pays off for everyone.”
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner is set to open the party’s annual meeting in Brighton tomorrow by stressing that improving wages, job security and rights at work is the only way to boost productivity and improve worker health.
She will launch a green paper on employment rights, which will include proposals for a Labour government to legislate, within its first 100 days, for a “new deal for working people” — a proposal first put forward by the CWU union and adopted by the TUC.
The plans include a return to sectoral collective bargaining, starting in social care, as part of a “fundamental change” to the economy.
Three quarters of front-line care workers in England are paid less than the living wage, Labour pointed out, while 375,000 are employed on zero-hours contracts.
The party said its pay agreements would empower all workers in the fragmented and partly privatised social care sector to negotiate better pay, terms and conditions.
Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said the proposals “would stop a race to the bottom, rebuild the [social care] workforce and bring about investment in a vital public service.”
Other measures include an immediate increase to the minimum wage to at least £10 per hour, the creation of a single status of “worker” for all but the genuinely self-employed, the right to flexible working for all workers from day one, and a ban on zero-hours contracts.
Labour also pledged to increase Statutory Sick Pay and make it available to all workers, extend statutory parental leave, and end fire-and-rehire attacks on workers.
At conference, Ms Rayner is expected to say that the “driving mission of the next Labour government to end the poverty wages and insecure work that blights millions of lives and is holding back our economy.”
Shadow employment rights and protections secretary Andy McDonald slammed the Tories for ushering in an employment model that results in a “race to the bottom on the backs of working people.
“It is high time that the key workers who got us through [the Covid-19 crisis] are given the dignity and security they deserve,” he stressed.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said the plans are a “game-changer for millions of working families.
“Giving workers and their unions more power to bargain collectively is the best way to improve pay and working conditions across Britain.”
And TSSA transport union general secretary Manuel Cortes added: “The pandemic has exposed existing deep divisions within our society and no more so than in low-paid sectors of our economy.
“Labour’s New Deal for working people will benefit every worker in our country.”
The party also revealed “groundbreaking plans” to build more affordable housing and give first-time buyers dibs on new developments. Additionally, foreign buyers would be outlawed from gobbling up new builds and leaving them empty, Labour said.
Speaking ahead of conference, shadow housing minister Lucy Powell said: “Labour is the party of home ownership, the Tories are the party of speculators and developers.
“They treat housing as a commodity, not the bedrock of stable lives and life chances.” The policy moves away from Corbyn-era commitments on council housing, despite a popular shift to building new council houses in Labour-run authorities including Salford and Greater Manchester.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.