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Long-Bailey says Labour will not view trade unions as party' ‘embarrassing relatives’ under her leadership

REBECCA LONG BAILEY has pledged to back workers and trade unions in every strike and dispute “no questions asked” if she succeeds Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.

The shadow business secretary said last night that the party’s path back to power after its worst general-election defeat since 1935 is by “rebuilding” the trade-union movement.

The Salford and Eccles MP added that she would not return to “condemning” striking teachers or firefighters or to treat trade unions affiliated to the party as “embarrassing relatives.”

She told a rally in Sheffield that the next leader must be “as comfortable on the picket line as at the dispatch box.”

Ms Long-Bailey said: “The Labour Party is the parliamentary wing of the whole labour and trade -union movement, and our path to power is in rebuilding it.”

If she becomes Labour leader, she will commission a trade-union recruitment plan in the historic heartlands that were lost to the Tories in the December general election to win back support and to do more to “sweep away” anti-trade-union laws, she said.

The move comes after she committed to giving workers a “right to unplug” from emails and calls outside of work hours to end the “24/7 work culture” and protect mental health.

In France, a “right to disconnect” which came into effect in January 2017 obliges firms with more than 50 workers to define workers’ rights to ignore mobile devices.

Supporters of the French law had said that workers expected to check and reply to work emails out of hours were not being paid fairly for overtime, and that the practice carried risk of stress, burnout and relationship problems.

Ms Long-Bailey wrote on Twitter yesterday (FRI): “Aspirational socialism means we all do better.

“Empowering trade unions to negotiate an end to the 24/7 work culture means people can work hard, be paid for the work they do and keep that precious time with friends and family, uninterrupted by emails or demands.”

She is competing against Sir Keir Starmer, Lisa Nandy and Emily Thornberry to become Mr Corbyn’s successor.

The result will be announced on April 4 after a ballot of Labour members starting next week.

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