In policy news that tomorrow’s news media may or may not carry, Labour has just announced that the next Labour government will transform the workplace. A Labour press release embargoed until just now states:
Labour’s 20 point plan to end the ‘rigged economy’ in work Labour is backing a comprehensive programme to strengthen rights at work, make sure new jobs are good jobs, and end the race to the bottom in pay, conditions and job security.
Low pay and insecurity have mushroomed under the Conservatives. Labour will invest in the jobs and industries of the future, and take action to enforce a floor under employment standards across the board – so that all jobs are decent jobs.
The next Labour government will bring in a 20 point plan for security and equality at work:
· Give all workers equal rights from day one, whether part-time or full-time, temporary or permanent – so that all workers have the same rights and protections whatever kind of job they have
· Ban zero hours contracts – so that every worker gets a guaranteed number of hours each week · Ensure that any employer wishing to recruit labour from abroad does not undercut workers at home – because it causes divisions when one workforce is used against another
· Repeal the Trade Union Act and roll out sectoral collective bargaining – because the most effective way to maintain good rights at work is through a trade union
· Guarantee trade unions a right to access workplaces – so that unions can speak to members and potential members
· Introduce four new Bank Holidays – we’ll bring our country together with new holidays to mark our four national patron saints’ days, so that workers in Britain get the same proper breaks as in other countries.
· Raise the minimum wage to the level of the living wage (expected to be at least £10 per hour by 2020) – so that no one in work gets poverty pay · End the public sector pay cap – because public sector wages have fallen and our public sector workers deserve a pay rise
· Amend the takeover code to ensure every takeover proposal has a clear plan in place to protect workers and pensioners – because workers shouldn’t suffer when a company is sold
· Roll out maximum pay ratios – of 20:1 in the public sector and companies bidding for public contracts – because it cannot be right that wages at the top keep rising while everyone else’s stagnates
· Ban unpaid internships – because it’s not fair for some to get a leg up when others can’t afford to
· Enforce all workers’ rights to trade union representation at work – so that all workers can be supported when negotiating with their employer · Abolish employment tribunal fees – so that people have access to justice
· Double paid paternity leave to four weeks and increase paternity pay – because fathers are parents too and deserve to spend more time with their new babies
· Strengthen protections for women against unfair redundancy – because no one should be penalised for having children
· Hold a public inquiry into blacklisting – to ensure that blacklisting truly becomes and remains a thing of the past
· Give equalities reps statutory rights – so they have time to protect workers from discrimination
· Reinstate protection against third party harassment – because everyone deserves to be safe at work
· Use public spending power to drive up standards, including only awarding public contracts to companies which recognise trade unions
· Introduce a civil enforcement system to ensure compliance with gender pay auditing– so that all workers have fair access to employment and promotion opportunities and are treated fairly at work
John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said:
These policies will be the cornerstone of the next Labour government’s programme to bring an end to the rigged economy that many experience in workplaces across Britain.
The scandal of six million people earning less than the living wage, and four million children growing up in poverty are not inevitable. It only takes a change of government to bring these outrages to an end.
The measures we are planning will make that possible, update our country for the 21st century and prepare us for the economic challenges ahead.
They will also underpin the values we want to see in the British economy, and underline the scale of Labour’s plans to transform the workplace from the shop-floor up to the boardroom.
When voters go to the polls on 8th June they should know that if they vote Labour, they will be voting for a change in the balance of power not only in society but in their places of work.
It will mean tearing up the Tory status quo that allows most people’s wages to fall behind prices, and allow them to start to share in the wealth they help to create.
Only a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn will stand up for the many in our offices and factories, while the Tories are only prepared to protect big business and a wealthy few.
Rebecca Long-Bailey, Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, added.
Labour’s 20 point plan on employment rights seeks not only to extend the rights of workers but enforce them too. For too long people have fallen through the gaps in the law or suffered because the law is simply inadequate, we intend to stop this. This election offers a clear choice: do you want a labour market run for the many or the few.
While Theresa May and her front bench only emerge from hiding to parrot the same dreary soundbite, Labour is announcing a stream of innovative and popular policies – thought-out, costed policies that are showing the British public that they are a government in waiting, while the Tories are a shambles.
And a cowardly shambles at that.
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