UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Half a work manifesto is better than none

On Monday Labour launches its 2015 General Election manifesto but the 'work manifesto' A Better Plan for Britain’s Workplaces published on 1st April, provides an early insight into the party's proposals for employment rights. Strong commitments include an apprenticeship guarantee, outlawing the use of agency workers to undercut permanent employees (but not removing the 12 week qualifying period for equal rights), banning 'exploitative' zero hours contracts and raising the national minimum wage hourly rate to £8 within the next five years.

Although the manifesto promotes trade unions as 'an essential force for a decent society' commitments to extending and promoting collective bargaining or repealing anti union laws (incompatible with the international obligations Labour says it will honour) are notably absent. As Graham Stevenson writes in the Morning Star 'this is a modest approach that may do little harm but will hardly massively change Britain for the better. Yet it is certainly miles away from the hostile blood and thunder of the Tory sabre-rattling'