27 September 2016
General Secretary of the TSSA Manuel Cortes has announced the union’s official support for the IER’s Manifesto for Labour Law– 25 policy recommendations that have become the blueprint for Labour Party policy on employment law.
The Manifesto, which was featured in John McDonnell’s keynote speech to the Labour Party Conference yesterday as he outlined his plans for the UK’s economic and industrial strategy, principally focuses on shifting the focus of labour law towards collectively bargained standards rather than relying on statutory minimums set at state level.
Drafted by 15 leading labour lawyers and academics from some of the UK’s most prestigious universities, the IER’s proposals are borne from a wide evidence base including international comparisons with major European competitors, in some of the strongest of which collective bargaining coverage reaches 80% compared with just 20% in the UK.
By strengthening workers’ voices, the Manifesto policies will lead to higher wages and more secure employment for Britain’s workers, increasing their spending power and thus raising demand for products and services, which will incentivise employers to create new jobs.
Manuel Cortes said: “TSSA is extremely proud to back the Institute of Employment Rights’ Manifesto for Labour Law. Too many transport and travel workers across the UK are concerned about the security of their jobs and are struggling on low wages – a worry that has only become more pronounced due to the uncertainty that has arisen following the vote for Brexit.
“It is vitally important not only to our members but also to passengers across the country that transport personnel work in safe conditions, that their jobs are secure, and that training is adequately provided. We have seen fares rise exponentially while transport workers have been losing out, reducing staff morale and passenger comfort. In the travel industry, low wages and poor conditions are endemic.
“Enabling collective bargaining at a sectoral level would give us the leverage to fight back against unfair conditions and allow us to ensure minimum standards are maintained across the industries we organise and across the UK, providing us with a good starting point from which to build at enterprise level.”
The union’s support for the Manifesto was intoned yesterday at our Labour Party Fringe event by Andi Foxx, Executive Committee member for the TSSA, who spoke from our platform.
She was joined by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and Shadow Trade Union Minister Ian Lavery, who said they were currently looking into the practicalities of delivering the proposals as Bills to parliament, while Assistant General Secretary for UNITE Tony Burke reiterated his support for our recommendations.