LABOUR and trade unionists ridiculed Theresa May yesterday following her claims she would extend and strengthen workers’ rights.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn shot down Ms May’s “nonsense” assertion that she would be a champion for employment rights as a desperate attempts to appeal to the working class.
Civil Service union PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said it was a “joke” for her to claim that as the government has made continuous cuts to public-sector jobs and pay.
While the Tories’ anti-Trade Union Act, introduced earlier this month, threatens workers’ right to take industrial action by doubling the strike notice period to 14 days, and allowing bosses to break strikes by using scab agency workers.
Another of the many restrictions include legally requiring picket supervisors to give their names to police, raising fears of blacklisting.
Mr Serwotka added: “As a government, they have introduced the most anti-trade union laws for decades and put justice out of reach for ordinary workers by introducing fees for employment tribunals.
“As an employer, they have treated our members across the Civil Service with contempt by cutting more than 110,000 civil and public service jobs and closing hundreds of offices.
“The UK has some of the weakest employment laws and the most restrictive trade union rights in the developed world.
“The Tories cannot be trusted to help working people or to improve their pay, terms and conditions.”
Ms May has claimed she would extend protections for workers in the so-called “gig economy,” and is also offering a statutory right for workers to leave their jobs for a relative for to up to a year or to mourn a child, but without pay.
GMB general secretary Tim Roache said the Tories would have to end the public-sector pay cap, end wide-scale abuse of agency contracts, give all workers equal rights, and commit to a real living wage.
After addressing the Royal College of Nursing conference in Liverpool, Mr Corbyn laid into Ms May by saying: “Would this be the same PM that presides over an economy where six million people earn less than the living wage?”
The Tories have claimed that they would “continue increasing the national living wage.”
But Labour hit out at their lies after spotting a loophole in their press release.
The average full-time worker would be £2,283 worse off by 2020 under Ms May’s watered down national minimum wage — rebranded as the “national living wage” by former chancellor George Osborne.
Mr Osborne had announced that the rate was expected to reach £9 per hour in three years’ time, but the small print said the NMW would reach the level equivalent to “over 60 per cent of median hourly earnings.”
This means that the wage would be £8.20. Labour has said it’s committed to a real living wage of £10 an hour by 2020.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Before the election, the Conservatives must clarify that they’re sticking to their 2020 target for the national living wage.
“Working people have a right to know these details before they cast their votes.”