This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
THE “lamentable” state of workplace rights in Britain is directly responsible for the devastating impact of Covid-19, panellists warned at a TUC fringe meeting on Monday night.
Professor Keith Ewing told the Institute of Employment Rights/Campaign for Trade Union Freedom meeting: “It is no coincidence that we have one of the worst health outcomes in the developed world and one of the most highly deregulated labour law systems.”
He said that coronavirus had exposed the failure of government to guarantee secure incomes, safe working or even the inspection and enforcement of what rights do exist, leading to “wage theft on an industrial scale” in the Leicester garment industry which also became a virus hotspot.
Shadow employment rights secretary Andy McDonald said we should question Britain’s economic model, and whether the usual marks by which its success is judged really indicate “an economic structure that delivers good jobs, good homes, good lives for everyone?”
He called for “the repeal of pernicious trade union legislation, the embrace of electronic ballots and facilitation of true trade union access to workplaces.”
TUC senior policy officer Janet Williamson pointed to the super-exploitation of “key workers” who kept the country running at the height of lockdown. She charged: “80 per cent of key workers are paid less than £10 an hour, two-thirds are women. Black workers are literally dying on the job with significantly higher mortality — in part due to poor working conditions.”
CWU general secretary Dave Ward said that before Covid “we knew that the economy was founded on insecure work, in-work poverty and sadly business leaders who never bring solutions to the table — but cut jobs, cut pay, cut services and prioritise dividends to their shareholders.
But trade unions’ record of defending workers’ safety and jobs this year show they “don’t have to wait for legislation” to act, he said.
“If we can organise in sectors of the economy where unions are strong, working together we can build that into a mass mobilisation of workers,” he said.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £10 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.