Empowering the Workforce: Labour’s New Deal for Working People

Alex Martin

Labour’s New Deal for Working People aims to break the Conservative cycle of low pay, low investment, and low productivity. As the party representing working people, Labour is committed to providing individuals with increased certainty and security, enabling them to plan for their future. Angela Rayner, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, demonstrated her commitment to improving the lives of working people during her speech at conference this month.   She highlighted the distinction between the Conservatives’ loyalty to billionaires, non-doms and water barons versus Labour’s focus on improving wages and increasing people’s rights at work: “We’ll ban zero-hour contracts. End fire and rehire. And give workers basic rights from day one”.  Rayner went on to pledge more power to trade unions, tackling sexual harassment at work and making work more family-friendly.  A secure, well-compensated and motivated workforce is beneficial for both businesses and their bottom lines. Bridgwater Labour Party Policy Officer Alex Martin investigates.

Angela Rayner and Kier Starmer

The New Deal will guarantee basic individual rights for all workers from day one. This will put an end to the current arbitrary system that leaves workers waiting up to two years before they can access basic protections against unfair dismissal, parental leave and sick pay. Labour will also take action to promote a positive work-life balance for all workers.

Labour is right to crack down on one-sided flexibility workplace practices that do not offer job security and ruin people’s chances of saving up or affording holidays or sickness absences.

Employers should not be sacking staff only to hire them back on lower wages and worse terms and conditions – or, in some cases, replacing them with overseas staff registered to work in foreign jurisdictions where conditions are even worse.

Addressing insecurity

Our citizens are being chewed up and spat out by broken Britain. A stable job, a home of your own and the ability afford a family is a basic requirement of a functioning, civilised society. In Britain today, it seems to be a pipe dream for far too many.

Labour believes that strong collective bargaining rights and institutions are essential for addressing issues of insecurity and inequality. Empowering workers to act collectively enables them to negotiate better pay and conditions. Labour is dedicated to enhancing the rights of working people by empowering them to organise collectively through trade unions.

Over the past 13 years, the Conservatives have consistently undermined workers’ rights, including through legislation such as the Trade Union Act 2016, the Minimum Service Levels (Strikes) Bill and the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2022. Labour plans to repeal these laws to give trade unions the freedom to organise, represent and negotiate on behalf of their workers.


Inspiring support from Angela Rayner

And if we need reminding of why the Labour Party needs to exist in 2023, here are some recent comments by multi-millionaire property developer, Tim Gurner:

“We need to see pain in the economy. We need to remind people that they work for the employer, not the other way around. There’s been a systematic change where employees feel the employer is extremely lucky to have them, as opposed to the other way around. It’s a dynamic that has to change.” 

The concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a minority has led to the underappreciation and underutilisation of the contributions, skills and efforts of the majority. The Conservatives often criticise Labour for being beholden to the trade unions. I don’t know about you, but I would rather vote for a party that listens to democratic organisations that represent the interests of millions of people up and down this land, than being in a party that is bankrolled by billionaires.

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