27 January 2017
The government has this week unveiled its new industrial strategy, in which businesses were mentioned 356 times and trade unions were not mentioned at all.
Unions have hit out at the plans, with GMB national secretary Jude Brimble saying: “An industrial strategy cannot just be about what employers want, working people have to be at the heart of any such strategy, yes in skills and training, but also in making sure that their ideas and ambitions are heard.”
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady added: “Businesses are more successful when workers are involved in taking decisions about their jobs. So the strategy must put the workforce at the centre of plans to improve productivity – starting with the Prime Minister’s promise to put workers on company boards.”
The Institute of Employment Rights is calling for trade unions to be at the centre of the UK’s efforts to improve productivity, the skills of our workforce, and employment rates. In our Manifesto for Labour Law, now adopted by the Labour Party, we argue that involving the UK’s 31 million workers in the rejuvenation of the UK economy is essential. By encouraging a framework whereby employers and workers can negotiate over better training, conditions and wages, we argue that better quality jobs can be created, the UK’s workforce can be better upskilled, productivity will reduce, and the increasing wages gap can be narrowed.