“The job retention scheme – called for by unions – has shown what active government can do during a crisis. It rescued companies and saved millions from the dole queue,” the statement said.
“Now is the time to build on that spirit, not shrink away from the challenges ahead.”
In the short-term, the union leaders called for an extension to the job retention scheme, investment in green infrastructure and a commitment to providing every young person at risk of long-term unemployment with work.
Longer-term goals were described in the TUC’s Better Recovery plan, including ensuring workers have a voice in the economy and in the workplace, through many of the mechanisms described in the IER’s influential Manifesto for Labour Law project. The reinstatement of sectoral collective bargaining and abolition of the worst anti-trade union laws would provide workers with a voice in the workplace, while a voice in government would be provided via a National Recovery Council.
The TUC also recommended providing economic stimulus for a green economy; improvements to the Welfare State; higher funding for public services; better pay and conditions for those delivering public sesrvices, including social care; action to prevent disproportionate harm to women, disabled people and BME groups; and new international rules to stimulate the creation of decent jobs and public services.
“The evidence from the post-war recovery is that this investment for growth recovery plan can pay for itself,” the TUC said.
“The pandemic alone did not cause this economic crisis,” it reminded readers.
“It was made worse by a decade of austerity and the government’s failure to strengthen the UK’s economy.
“Choosing the wrong approach to recovery now risks embedding low growth, long-term unemployment and all the social ills that go alongside.”