Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Labour's Fair Pay Agreements (winning back support from working class voters)

This evening I enjoyed a tasty curry in Whitechapel with a UNISON comrade. During which we discussed how Labour Leader, Keir Starmer, can win back economic left minded but often socially conservative working class voters.

I have been meaning since Party Conference to post on the progressive employment policies announced by Deputy Leader, Angela Rayner, which I think we all ought to be banging the drum about more. The aim is to end poverty working and insecure employment for 31 million workers.  It will also bring back working class support for Labour. After recent electoral disasters in "Red Wall" heartlands we must have a radical but believable economic "left" offer. 
  • Fair Pay Agreements which will be negotiated through sectoral collective bargaining – starting in the adult social care sector.
  • An immediate increase to the minimum wage to at least £10 per hour for all workers. Eradicating in-work poverty by tackling the structural causes of poverty and ensuring that the future National Living Wage is adequate and addresses increases in the cost of living.
  • The creation of a single status of ‘worker’ for all but the genuinely self-employed so all workers have the same rights and protections, including rights to sick pay, holiday pay, parental leave and protection against unfair dismissal from day one on the job.
  • The right to flexible working for all workers as a default from day one, alongside the ‘right to switch off’ outside of working hours.
  • A ban on zero-hours contracts and an end to ‘one-sided flexibility’, with all workers having the right to a regular contract and predictable hours, reasonable notice of any changes in shifts of working hours and wages for cancelled shifts paid in full.
  • Increasing Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) and making it available to all workers, including the self-employed and those on low wages currently excluded by the lower earnings limit for eligibility.
  • Ending fire and rehire.
  • Extending statutory parental leave, introducing the right to bereavement leave, strengthening protections for pregnant women, and reforming the failed Shared Parental Leave system.
  • Updating trade union legislation so it is fit for a modern economy and so working people have strengthened rights and are empowered to organise collectively.
  • Overhauling enforcement of rights and protections by establishing a single enforcement body to enforce workers’ rights, inspect workplaces and bring prosecutions and civil proceedings on behalf of workers against bad employers relating to health and safety, minimum wage, worker exploitation and discriminatory practices.
  • Introducing mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting to mirror gender pay gap reporting, and a new requirement on employers to report and eliminate pay gaps through the implementation of action plans to eradicate inequalities in the workplace.

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