‘Sector bodies’ to negotiate wages leaving some workers on less pay, dressed up by Starmer as meaningless ‘gradual return of collective bargaining’ – as if a Starmer promise means anything anyway
Keir Starmer’s Labour plans to introduce a variable minimum wage – with workers considered less worthy receiving only a basic amount. The party is disguising this move as a ‘gradual return to collective bargaining’, but the ‘fair pay agreements’, applicable only in certain sectors, would be set by ‘sector bodies’, not negotiated collectively by workers themselves.
This is being presented, to cosy up to employers, as a return to the ‘no-strike’ days of Tony Blair. According to Sam Coates, who was briefed by the party, this:
could mean some sectors could have a higher minimum level of pay than the minimum wage… this will not be right for many bits of the economy.
‘Could… could… not right’ – so nothing guaranteed, of course – and a Starmer promise isn’t worth the fetid air it takes to speak it.
In plain languages, Starmer is offering lower pay for workers he doesn’t think merit a proper living wage – and just possibly better rates for other occupations according to which way the wind is blowing at the time.
In other betrayals leaked as supposed change, Starmer plans to “give employment rights from day one’ to workers – but admits that he will not stop bosses from imposing any length of ‘probation period’ on workers, which could easily be used to recreate the current two-year qualifying period for protections.
The promised ‘ban’ on zero-hours contracts is in fact a ‘right’ for employers to ‘request’ a contract for more hours than zero – but workers would ‘have a right to decline’ the right to request, leaving them in susceptible to employer pressure through threats of no job at all.
And Starmer may announce a better ‘promised’ minimum wage than the weasel £10 an hour he promised last year – only to be outdone by the Tories simply increasing the minimum wage to a pathetic £10.42 just after he promised it.
Starmer constantly betrays the working class and his promises are meaningly. This latest exercise is as thin and vaporous as it looks and does no more than expose the utter political and moral emptiness of his faction.
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