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Labour will forge a new workplace environment, says John McDonnell

JOHN McDONNELL will pledge to “restore the balance of power in the workplace” in his address to TUC Congress today.

The shadow chancellor is due to say that the scales have been “overwhelmingly tipped against workers” through years of right-wing governments, meaning British workers now face the worst levels of insecurity in 80 years.

“Cumulative legislative assaults on trade union freedoms have seriously weakened the ability of trade unions to negotiate effectively on behalf of their members. The result is that for the first time shareholders now take a greater share of national income than workers,” he is expected to say.

Unite leader Len McCluskey said yesterday the share of national income going to wages had dropped from 65 per cent to 50 per cent in 40 years, wages taken from the pockets of working people to boost their bosses’ profits.

Mr McDonnell will challenge the growth in zero-hours contracts and the decline of collective bargaining meaning that “workers now have little say over the decisions taken by their employers over the future of their companies.”

He is due to promise a “significant extension of trade union rights” as well as “the opportunity for employees to share collectively in the benefits of ownership of the country.

“Labour’s common sense approach will forge a new workplace environment best suited to meeting the challenges of Britain’s ongoing low productivity and the emerging fourth industrial revolution.”

The address builds on the work of the Institute of Employment Rights, which has set out detailed legislative proposals for restoring sectoral collective bargaining through joint national councils of employers and workers.

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