GMB WELCOME LABOUR PLEDGES ON ZERO HOURS CONTRACTS AND WORKERS RIGHTS IN WORK MANIFESTO
GMB commented on the Labour election pledge announced today (1st April 2015) on zero hours contracts and on the launch of the Labour work manifesto. See notes to editors for copy of speech by Ed Miliband. This is the link for the work manifesto: http://www.labour.org.uk/blog/entry/a-better-plan-for-britains-workplaces.
Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary, said "At long last we have a major political party prepared to address and give rights to workers to shield them from exploitation in their workplaces.
At long last the damage of zero hours contracts is to be addressed. This news will be welcomed by thousands of people for whom the world of work is a daily lottery.
Voters are faced with a stark choice - a party governing in the interest of corporate bosses with zero hours contracts and for tax breaks for the wealthy elite or a party seeking to provide rights and protection for working people.
Hopefully David Cameron will find himself on a zero hours contract come May the 8th”
1 Copy of speech by Ed Miliband on zero hours policy.
Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party, speaking at a visit in Huddersfield, said:
Thank you for being here with us today.
It is great to be here at David Brown.
A brilliant company offering high skill, high value jobs, with good apprenticeships.
I look forward to your questions, but let me briefly tell you today about the kind of country I want to build.
We need to be a country that rewards hard work again, whoever you are.
If people work all the hours God sends, I think they should be able to support their family.
So we'll provide 25 hours free childcare for all 3 and 4 year olds so that work pays for parents.
We'll freeze energy bills so they can only fall and cannot rise.
And we will raise the minimum wage to £8 an hour.
We need to be a country that supports our young people, and gives them the good qualifications they need to get on.
So a Labour government will say to our young people: if you get the grades, we'll get you an apprenticeship.
And if you go to university, we'll make sure you aren't loaded down with a lifetime of debt, cutting the tuition fee from £9,000 to £6,000.
And you need public services you can rely on, and nothing is more important than our NHS.
That's why our plan provides 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more doctors, 5,000 more careworkers, 3,000 more midwives.
Funded not by taxes on everyday families, or by borrowing, but with a mansion tax on the most expensive homes above £2 million, closing tax loopholes and raising revenue from the tobacco companies.
And this plan for working people is underpinned by cutting the deficit every year and balancing the books.
These are the questions at the heart of this election.
But there is one big question for me above all: who does our country work for?
There is no greater symbol of an economy that doesn't work for many people than zero hours contracts.
There will be lots of people here who know someone on a zero hours contract.
We have an epidemic of zero hours contracts in our country.
There has been a 20 per cent increase in the last year alone.
Undermining hard work, undermining living standards, undermining family life.
People not knowing how much work they are getting from one week to the next, or one day to the next, not knowing the wages they will earn.
We have to end the epidemic of zero hours contracts.
So today I can announce that in our first year of government after the election, Labour will pass a law that says:
If you are working regular hours, you will get a regular contract.
A legal right that will apply to all workers after 12 weeks.
To anyone on a zero hours contract today.
To anyone whose sons and daughters are on a zero hours contracts.
And to anyone trying to raise a family on a zero hours contract, I say:
You shouldn't be left at the beck and call of an employer who can ask the world of you, but gives you no security in return.
It's not fair.
It's not good for business.
And we'll put a stop to it.
We have seen today there is a big choice in this election.
I believe it is when working families succeed that Britain succeeds.
The Conservatives believe by looking after a few big firms and individuals at the top, everyone else will be OK.
They won't end the exploitation of zero hours contracts. We will.
Because we know that security for working people is the bedrock of what makes Britain work.
Less than a week ago we heard the Prime Minister say that he couldn't live on a zero-hours contract.
He's right. I couldn't either.
But if it's not good enough for us, it's not good enough for you.
That's the way I will run our country.
One rule for all.