USDAW and GMB welcome ‘progress’ at Labour’s NPF

Labour's National Policy Forum has delivered significant advances for working people, GMB & USDAW have said

27 Jul 2023| News

Two Labour-affiliated unions, USDAW and GMB, have welcomed advances made on workers’ rights at Labour policy forum, the NPF.

Usdaw stated that the were “pleased that the constructive discussions throughout the NPF process have led to some significant policy decisions to tackle insecure employment, poverty pay, and poor mental health, as well as to protect workers from violence, threats and abuse. Usdaw will continue to engage with Labour on the shared policy platform in the approach to the next general election.”

Some of the key agreed policies include:

  • Commitment to Labour’s New Deal for Workers to end insecure employment, tackle short hours by giving workers contracts that reflect their normal hours and an end exploitative zero-hours contracts.
  • The minimum wage to become a real living wage, with the full rate to be paid to all workers from 18 years old.
  • The introduction of a standalone offence for assaulting a retail worker along with legislation to tackle third-party harassment.
  • Single Enforcement Body to ensure targeted and proactive enforcement of workers’ rights.
  • Action to make apprenticeships accessible to more workers, especially people who are currently disadvantaged in the labour market.
  • Commitment to provide the mental health care people need through 8,500 more mental health professionals and a plan to clear the Conservatives’ care backlog and build a system in the long-term that can provide care within a month.

Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary said:

“We had very productive National Policy Forum discussions with shadow ministers over the weekend, focussed on what Labour in government can do to improve the lives of Usdaw members and all working people.

As part of the backdrop to the debate was Usdaw’s devastating cost of living survey of over 6,000 key workers, which we released ahead of the NPF. The results showed that 8 in 10 feel worse off than last year and too many workers in the retail grocery industry, who keep the nation fed, are struggling to put food on their own table.

These findings clearly show that those who are so essential to our economy and did so much to help the country through the pandemic, are at significant risk of being left further behind. They need the protection Labour offers on rights, pay, abuse, mental health and much more.

Usdaw has long called for a new deal for workers and the Tories have clearly demonstrated they will not provide the change our members desperately need, it’s now time for Labour. We need a Labour Government and Keir Starmer to be our next Prime Minister.”

Meanwhile the GMB also said that the meeting had delivered significant advances for working people:

A GMB spokesperson said:

This weekend, GMB’s participation in the Labour Party’s National Policy Forum has delivered significant advances for working people.

Labour now has a policy programme that would make a real difference for workers and industries they work in.

After several days of negotiations, GMB has secured historic commitments to strengthening equal pay rights, having shipbuilding contracts that do more to support skills and defence communities and new rights that will strengthen our members’ ability to organise.

Labour also accepted GMB’s amendment and committed to reinstating the School Support Staff Negotiating Body that was shamefully scrapped under the Tories – finally delivering recognition and better treatment for our members in schools.

GMB members need change after 13 years of the Conservatives running the country and workers’ standard of living down. “It’s time for a general election – and Labour is the only Party that is committed to fighting for working people.”