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Unions warn Labour must 'get own house in order' as it launches campaign for a new deal for workers

Movement must turn outwards for progressive change and stop persecuting its own, trade unionists say

LABOUR is set to launch a campaign for a “new deal” for working people today aiming to “make Britain the best place to work.”

Following the loss of working-class votes to the Tories in recent elections, the party’s campaign aims to start rebuilding trust among disillusioned voters in former “red wall” constituencies.

Labour’s campaign outlines five “principles of good work:” job security, quality jobs, a fairer economy, opportunity for all, and work that pays.

Pledges include a £10 minimum hourly wage, day-one employment rights, outlawing fire and rehire, a right to work flexibly, and “strengthened trade unions,” with more workers covered by collectively agreed deals.

It also pledges support for “well-paid green jobs in industries of the future,” a fairer tax system, a jobs promise for young people and the creation of tens of thousands of apprenticeships.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “The pandemic has exposed the fact that millions of workers don’t have the dignity and security they deserve from their job.

“Now, as we emerge, we need a new deal for working people.”

Unions welcomed the initiative but emphasised the importance of uniting the movement in the fight for progressive change.

Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) general secretary Dave Ward told the Star: “It’s long overdue that Labour focused on the critical need to rebalance power and wealth in the world of work, how the economy operates and in the inequalities that are deeply entrenched in society.

“But we can’t wait for a Labour government — the real new deal campaign must be led by the trade union movement, and that means using our collective power and campaigning and taking action together to fight for real change.”

A senior source in Unite said: “Keir Starmer is spot on when he identifies the job- and wage-insecurity that blights too many workers in this country today.  

“But we urge him to get this campaign off on the right foot by putting Labour’s own house in order: reverse the plans to cut 90 [Labour Party] jobs to replace them with temporary home workers, and end the attacks on his own members.”

Labour MP Ian Lavery said: “We need a real deal, where a real Labour Party looks after real people in work, and any plan for a new deal in the workplace must be done in conjunction with a strong trade union movement and community organisation.

“We’ve had enough of Tory sticking plasters, especially our young people who have suffered so much, and we need a deal that gives fair wages, terms and conditions, the right to union recognition, collective bargaining and security of employment.”

Communist Party general secretary Robert Griffiths warned that the party leadership “must end its attacks on the grassroots Labour activists who can actually deliver” the fight for a new deal.

“The campaign should include the pledges that Starmer made to get himself elected as Labour leader.

“General statements are all well and good, but we need specifics, including repeal of anti-union laws and public ownership of public services to end the profiteering scandals we have seen against the NHS, in the water companies and transport.”

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