Stephen Brown of Wyre Forest Labour Party spoke today about the Tories latest election pledge on worker rights. He said “Today, the Tories (Monday 15th May) promised the biggest expansion of worker rights by any Conservative Government ever. Let’s think about that for a while. Firstly, by noting the context of it ‘by any Conservative Government’. What does that actually mean? Not a lot, it’s totally vacuous. It wouldn’t take much to see any expansion of worker rights under a Tory Government because their record is quite the opposite. They have continually eroded worker rights. As recently as January 2017 the Tories filibustered and stopped a Labour motion in Parliament during the Brexit debate calling for guarantees for worker rights post Brexit. Who was Prime Minister and allowed this because she has a vision of her own version of a post-Brexit Britain being a low pay and low corporation tax regime off the shores of Europe – yes you guessed it, Theresa May. So much for her pledge on worker rights, it’s a lie”.
Here are some facts on the Tory attitude to Workers and their rights:
Since 2010 the Tories have been responsible for frustrating worker’s rights to legal justice by introducing punitive charges to Employment Tribunals and so fulfilling their aim of overseeing a 70% drop in legal access to employment justice for workers.
In 2016 the Tories introduced more attacks on trade unions with their new Law* to frustrate workers access to democracy and their ability to organise against bad employers.
Under the Tories the U.K. has seen a drop in real average pay by £500 a year, seen an explosion in zero hour contracts and insecure work, seen a massive rise in false self-employment, seen the introduction of numerous ruses and umbrella companies designed to stop workers getting rights and charging workers even to get the pay they’ve earned.
And since 2010 what have the Tories done about any of this? Absolutely NOTHING, in fact they have continually called for greater deregulation of the employment market – that’s jargon for less rights for workers. Indeed, the Tory position on companies like Über, who recently lost a case against it brought by the trade union GMB to give workers their employment rights, has been to try and protect Über against curbs limiting their power – even David Cameron lobbied in Über’s favour in a case in London.
The Tories are no friends of workers.
These are some of the things Labour will do if elected for worker rights:
- Equal rights at work from day one
- Ban zero hour contracts
- Better apprenticeships properly funded
- Stop employers recruiting from overseas to undercut U.K. workers pay
- Repeal Tory 2016 Trade Union Act (see above*)
- 4 new Bank Holidays
- Living wage of £10 per hour
- Abolish Employment Tribunal charges
- Strengthen women worker rights on unfair redundancy to prevent pregnancy discrimination
- Strengthen equal pay and equal rights at work legislation
- Improve paternity leave for men
- Strengthen trade union representation rights for workers
Labour – the ONLY party to protect workers rights