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Unison Conference ’19 Unions must turn the tide on Thatcherism and fight for collective bargaining

UNISON has urged trade unionists to “turn the tide” on Thatcherism and fight for the return of sectoral collective bargaining.

Delegates at the union’s annual conference in Liverpool said that building up collective bargaining was a necessity to improve workers’ livelihoods and conditions.

Unison national executive committee member Kate Ramsden said: “The striking change in the economy is the decline in national income that is shared to people in wage packets.

“If we want to know why, we must see the decline in collective bargaining coverage.

“There is high correlation between high levels of inequality and low levels of sectoral collective bargaining.

“In the ’70s unions prospered and hundreds of thousands of people benefited from collective sectoral bargaining.

“Now numbers are far beneath most other European countries.

“The fall is not a benign by-product of economic change. It happened because of Thatcher’s government that deliberately set out to destroy trade unions. It’s time to turn the tide.”

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