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TUC Congress ’19 Unions vow to fight in-work poverty, job insecurity and automation

Delegates vote to create a ‘New Deal for Workers’ campaign

BRITAIN’S trade unions have vowed to fight for a new deal for workers to combat in-work poverty, job insecurity and automation.

At the Trades Union Congress in Brighton today, delegates voted to create a “New Deal for Workers” campaign to improve pay and working conditions.

The composite motion agreed that a summit should be held in the first half of 2020 to agree how to recruit unorganised workers and to end workplace recruitment competition between unions.

They also agreed that unions would hold a national day of action on May 1 2020 to highlight the need for a New Deal.

CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “What are we going to do to shift the balance of forces? What are we going to do to not wait for political change, but to change the lives of people in the UK in the here and now?

“I want us to come together with a common bargaining agenda and root out the insecure employment that is creating the race to the bottom.

“I’ve spent my life fighting for working people. But I’ve come to a point where I’ve realised that for the future of our grandchildren, we have got to come together and stand up to the political forces who are ruining this country for workers.

“A new deal for working people will not just make people love unions — it will make people join unions, and it will mean that we will shift the forces in the UK.”

Unite automation executive officer Sharon Graham said: “The worker’s piece of the pie is getting smaller and smaller — there is a rise of insecurity and automation.

“We need to build confidence amongst our members and reps, and most crucially — we must not be risk averse.

“Let’s begin the industrial pushback.”

GMB delegate Amanda Burley told Congress that workers need to take matters into their own hands.

“The system is failing workers and we need a big change," she said.

“We need to not just talk about a new deal, but campaign for it in our workplaces up and down the land.”

Supporting, the NEU’s Gawain Little said unions needed to be embedded in working-class communities, pointing to the School Cuts campaign as an example of how unions could speak for entire communities and reach beyond their existing membership.

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