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Labour Responds to this story in The Shuttle about gender Pay at WFDC calling it “hardly a women’s world”:

http://www.kidderminstershuttle.co.uk/news/15997528.Pay_figures_show_it___s_a_woman___s_world_at_Wyre_Forest_District_Council/

Stephen Brown, Wyre Forest Labour said “The Shuttle story about WFDC & women’s pay being more than men fails to factor in the number of outsourced jobs the council funds. It’s hardly a women’s world for female cleaners, catering & leisure workers, etc - these are now agency staff and on minimum and low wage. So, of course the council figures look good, they’ve removed a number of bottom rungs of mostly female staff who would otherwise sit below those lower paid manual and mostly male workers eg refuse collectors. Equal pay claims have centred around parity for cleaners verses refuse collectors as Work of same value. Eg Birmingham. Plus, the rates for the actual council staff left are determined by union collective pay bargaining that the Tories would prefer to ditch. It’s actually really great there are more women in good paid top jobs but the pay figures are actually skewed. Nathan Desmond & Co have gotten away with more or less gloating about their ‘policy’ without being challenged on the reality of throwing those really low paid women workers from council employment rights to now being at the mercy of agency contractors. Those contractors don’t have much by the way of gender or pay parity versus their male dominated management. Outsourcing is the real story here, and the lack of employment rights and pay parity for those female workers now ‘employed’ by such council funded contractors. If the Tories, including our Tory MP who has claimed for 8 years he wants to address Wyre Forest’s low pay, can start putting that house in order, then overall things might improve. So, how about the council looking at ensuring a proper living wage in its dealings with contractors? That, and returning services in-house so workers come under collective pay bargaining by the unions. Only then will they be able to properly address the gender pay issue in a fair way.”

Council figures look good after they outsource mostly female staff on minimum and low wages

Labour Responds to this story in The Shuttle about gender Pay at WFDC calling it “hardly a women’s world”: http://www.kidderminstershuttle.co.uk/news/15997528.Pay_figures_show_it___s_a_woman___s_world_at_Wyre_Forest_District_Council/ Stephen Brown, Wyre Forest Labour said “The Shuttle story about...

Lobbying_Council_Ludlow_Road-web.jpg‘Save Ludlow Road’ Campaigners today (15th February 2018) took their message to full council at Worcestershire. A collective statement from parents and the 8,000 signature petition was delivered. 

Stephen Brown, Wyre Forest Labour said “Parent Amanda Danby today passionately delivered a tearful appeal to save Ludlow Road at a full meeting of Worcestershire County Council. Her own words, her own emotions, explaining the stress the consultation and possible closure has caused her and her family. No one could fail to be moved by what Amanda said as she tried in vain to hold back her tears and had to stop several times to gather her thoughts. Fellow parent Tracey Rochelle read out another letter from a parent pleading to keep Ludlow Road open. All as councillors listened intently. They both received prolonged applause from councillors when they’d finished, such was the powerful impact. If Ludlow Road is closed after this, you can only conclude that the ruling Tory Cabinet really don’t care.”

Amanda’s message can be seen in the screenshot picture.

The fight goes on......

Amanda_Danby_statement-Ludlow_road.jpg

Save Ludlow Road Campaigners lobby full council

‘Save Ludlow Road’ Campaigners today (15th February 2018) took their message to full council at Worcestershire. A collective statement from parents and the 8,000 signature petition was delivered.  Stephen Brown,...

The collapse of Carillion in January shows the terrible, human effects of business failure. It threatened the jobs and pensions of more than 43,000 employees. Just today 377 Carillion employees were made redundant and sadly many of those affected are from the West Midlands.

There is a small glimmer of hope that a significant proportion of workers maybe taken on by the companies taking over the Carillion contracts. However, it’s vital that the 669-bed Midland Metropolitan Hospital Carillion was responsible for constructing is not delayed. I spoke about Carillion workers in plenary in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. I hope that this crisis acts as a wake up call for the Conservative government. Public contracts should not be exploited by private companies for private profit, at the expense of workers' security and pensions.

Brexit impact

We are only one month into the New Year and already the government has been plunged into deeper crisis over Brexit. The leaked impact reports, compiled by the government's own economists, confirmed what we already knew about the effects of Brexit. However, the government's complete dismissal of its own civil servants' work is newly worrying.

The West Midlands region (Comprising: Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Shropshire, Staffordshire) is expected to suffer the most from Brexit, due to its impact on our huge manufacturing and export sector. The Department for Exiting the EU predicts a soft Brexit would cost the West Midlands 2.5 per cent of GDP over the next 15 years. A hard Brexit, with a Canada-style free trade deal would shrink our region's GDP by eight per cent. While a no-deal scenario, with the UK left to trade on WTO terms, would slash 13 per cent from the West Midlands’s GDP. What about trade deals with countries outside of the EU? The report expects that a future trade deal with the US would add just 0.2% to GDP, and treaties with other non-EU countries would add a somewhere between 0.1 and 0.4%.

The government's reaction to these shocking statistics has so far been to ignore them. This is really concerning. Brexit is the single most consequential policy any government has pursued since the second world war. We therefore need a government that takes a fact-based approach, rather than one which acts on bluster. The Labour Party has been clear that it will not sacrifice jobs for Brexit and I agree that maintaining opportunity and employment always has to be the priority.

Neena Gill CBE
Labour MEP - West Midlands Region
Member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs at the European Parliament
www.westmidlandslabour.org.uk/meps

West Midlands Regions including Worcestershire expected to suffer the most from Brexit

The collapse of Carillion in January shows the terrible, human effects of business failure. It threatened the jobs and pensions of more than 43,000 employees. Just today 377 Carillion employees...

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