22 May 2018
IER Chair, John Hendy QC, addressed the ASLEF conference yesterday (21 May 2018) to detail the proposals of our Manifesto for Labour Law.
The Manifesto for Labour Law was drafted by 15 leading labour lawyers and academics from some of the UK’s most prestigious universities. It concludes with 25 evidence-based recommendations for reform, with the overarching aim of shifting the focus of labour law to collective rather than individual rights – a norm in other developed economies and a system proven to encourage lower levels of inequality and raise wages from those on the lowest incomes.
The Manifesto was endorsed by the union in 2016 when General Secretary Mick Whelan said: “It is the job of a trade union to counter the imbalance of power that is inherent in the employer-worker relationship, but anti-trade union legislation and the weakening of employment law has impeded our ability to represent workers and made it easier for businesses to act in exploitative ways that damage livelihoods, the quality of services, and the economy as a whole.
“In the rail industry, we have seen the devastating results, with employers cutting staff to widen their profit margins, slashing pay and conditions, and taking on an increasingly casualised workforce, all while raising fares and failing to deliver much-needed services.
“Under the proposals put forth by the Institute of Employment Rights in its Manifesto for Labour, workers would have a stronger voice at enterprise and sectoral levels, as well as in parliament through their representation at a National Economic Forum and a Ministry of Labour.
“ASLEF supports these recommendations wholeheartedly and the Labour Party’s vow to implement them.”
Indeed, the Manifesto has received support from several political parties, including the Green Party, Scottish Nationalist Party and the Labour Party. In 2017, the Labour Party included several IER recommendations in its landmark Manifesto For the many, not the few, including the reinstatement of sectoral collective bargaining, the establishment of a Ministry of Labour, stronger trade union rights, the repeal of the Trade Union Act 2016, and equal rights for all people in employment from day one.