Lords recognise value of trade unions on ILO centenary

Labour's Lord Jordan called a debate on the importance of trade unions, to mark the International Labour Organization's 100th birthday.

19 Jul 2019| News

The House of Lords has recognised the valuable contribution of trade unions in the UK economy and in keeping workers safe in a debate commemorating 100 years of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Calling the debate, Labour’s Lord Jordan reviewed the history of the ILO as a body created to better lives and keep peace after World War One, and discussed its continued significance today.

Although Britain is the birthplace of trade unions, he said, and once lay claim to the most powerful labour movement in the world, economic and legislative changes made in the Thatcher years weakened them.

Now, the rise of precarious work and globalisation has made them more relevant than ever, with multinationals Lord Jordan described as “predators” becoming so powerful that they can play countries off against each other.

He called for unions to consider the use of technology to recruit members and to work closely with international trade unions to ensure there is no where multinational corporations can go to undercut workers’ rights.

Watch the full debate below