Labour manifesto pledges to end in-work poverty
By Democrat reporter
LABOUR is pledging to eradicate in-work poverty, cut the working week and introduce the biggest extension of workers’ rights in history.
The party’s manifesto sets out a series of employment measures it says will transform workers’ pay, conditions and rights.
Among them are the “rapid” introduction of a real living wage of at least £10 an hour for over-16s and repeal of anti-trade union legislation.
Labour would also cut the working week to 32 hours within a decade with no loss of pay, introduce four new bank holidays and ban zero-hours contracts.
Jeremy Corbyn with West Dunbartonshire WASPI women.
The measures will be enforced by a new ministry of employment rights, which Labour said will give workers a voice at the Cabinet table.
Unions warmly welcomed the employment pledges, saying they would change the lives of millions of people for the better.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “This is a fantastic offer from Labour to the electorate. When Labour wins, nurses win, teachers win, manufacturing workers win, car workers win, young people win and pensioners win.”
Collective bargaining will also be rolled out across the economy, bringing workers and employers together to agree legal minimum standards on pay and hours.
Workers will be given full employment rights from the first day in a job, a single status of “worker” will be created to end bogus self-employment, while workers will be given extra protection against unfair dismissal.
The party said it will help people balance work and family life by requiring breaks during shifts to be paid, giving everyone the right to flexible working, extending statutory maternity pay from nine to 12 months and doubling paternity leave to four weeks.
Employers will be required to draw up plans to eradicate the gender pay gap or face fines and make sure workplaces are free of harassment.
West Dunbartonshire Labour candidate Jean Anne Miktchell with Jeremy Corbyn (left) and Richard Leonard (right).