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Labour pledge to ‘end the race to the bottom’ on pay and worker’s rights

The Labour Party has brought forward plans to strengthen rights at work and “end the race to the bottom in pay, conditions and job security”, accusing the Conservatives of building an economy based on low-paid and insecure employment.

The next Labour Government will invest in the jobs and industries of the future, whilst introducing measures to stamp out zero-hours contracts, increase the minimum wage, and guarantee equal rights for all working people – among other policies.

In an ambitious 20-point plan announced on Saturday, Labour has committed to:

  1. 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
  2. Ban zero hours contracts – so that every worker gets a guaranteed number of hours each week
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Guarantee trade unions a right to access workplaces – so that unions can speak to members and potential members
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. End the public sector pay cap – because public sector wages have fallen and our public sector workers deserve a pay rise
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. Ban unpaid internships – because it’s not fair for some to get a leg up when others can’t afford to
  12. Enforce all workers’ rights to trade union representation at work – so that all workers can be supported when negotiating with their employer
  13. Abolish employment tribunal fees – so that people have access to justice
  14. 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
  15. Strengthen protections for women against unfair redundancy – because no one should be penalised for having children
  16. Hold a public inquiry into blacklisting – to ensure that blacklisting truly becomes and remains a thing of the past
  17. Give equalities reps statutory rights – so they have time to protect workers from discrimination
  18. Reinstate protection against third party harassment – because everyone deserves to be safe at work
  19. Use public spending power to drive up standards, including only awarding public contracts to companies which recognise trade unions
  20. 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.”

Commenting, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This is an impressive set of commitments from the Labour Party, many of which have long been advocated by the TUC.

“Making these ideas a reality would make a real difference for millions of hard-working Brits.

“All eyes are now turned to the Conservative Party to see what they are offering people at work. Theresa May’s manifesto will be a real test of her promise to do more for working people.”


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