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by Will Stone
JEREMY CORBYN lambasted the “ugly face of Tory austerity Britain” today, in comments on the foodbank for unpaid outsourced workers at a government department.
The Labour leader drew attention to the emergency foodbank at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) while addressing PCS delegates at the union’s annual conference.
The union opened the foodbank last week for staff employed by outsourcer ISS, who had not been paid due to an error.
Mr Corbyn said: “In the Department of Business there’s a foodbank. At a government ministry — right in the centre of London.
“PCS members working there having to donate food. A foodbank in a government department,” he added incredulously.
He said: “Those same outsourced workers are having to strike for the same demand. A wage that they can live on.
“This is the ugly face of Tory austerity Britain. Those workers should not only be paid the living wage, but they should be brought back in house. And they will be, under a Labour government.”
He also vowed that a future Labour government would restore facility time and introduce online balloting: “This is, after all, the 21st century.”
He reiterated his party’s promise to repeal the Trade Union Act within 100 days of government, as well as setting up a ministry of labour staffed by PCS members.
“The success of a future Labour government will depend on the trade union movement,” Mr Corbyn said.
“When Labour comes to power, you come to power too. These changes are not possible without you.
“Together we will create a social security system that is about support not sanctions, tackle the climate emergency and smash racism.”
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Jeremy Corbyn has once again shown he is a friend of PCS and the entire labour movement.
“He committed a future Labour government to give civil servants, and the related areas, national collective bargaining.
“This would help us negotiate a fair wage rise after more than a decade of a real-terms pay cut.
“His commitment to a Labour government properly funding and radically overhauling our social security system is welcomed by our members struggling to make universal credit and benefits work for claimants.
“Theresa May already has one foot out of the door and the Tories are in open revolt.
“Jeremy Corbyn is a prime minister in waiting, and we need a general election at the earliest opportunity to build the socialist economy we need.”
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