Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Time to get angry to protect rights

Employment rights are human rights, good for the economy and a sign of a healthy society. This was the message from Conference delegates as they pledged to fight Government attacks on our employment and trade union rights.

Scotland's Gordon McKay, speaking for the NEC told Conference that these next four days should be "where we raise a voice of articulated anger from a united union aimed at a government that is ripping up the employment rights of workers.

“A voice that should be so loud it is heard in Downing Street, but more importantly it should be heard by our members and those who should become our members, telling them that this union will defend them.

"With unemployment at a sixteen year high, Government should be encouraging job creation and job security," he said adding that instead they were encouraging the firing of staff, doubling the period for unfair dismissal and halving the length of time for redundancy consultation, "done with the sole aim of making it easier to sack people."

"The priority will be company profits and workers' lives and health will be a price worth paying," slammed Gordon.

He added that deregulating the market doesn't even create jobs - Britain is the second most deregulated labour market in the OECD, but countries with higher levels of deregulation outperform us in terms of jobs.

"This is about Tory dogma and we should expect nothing else," said Gordon, warning that the Tories, abetted by their coalition partners, the Lib Dems, are set to abolish the minimum wage, scrap the Agency Workers and Working Time Regulations, make strikes illegal and change TUPE to make privatisation easier by cutting wages and slashing terms and conditions.

Gordon told delegates that this union is proud of our members who deliver front line services. "We will not watch and see their employment rights disappear as the profits of multi-national sweat shops increase. We'll campaign, we'll work with other unions and political allies to protect our employment rights."

"So enough of the polite applause - it's time to get angry! Let's do what we're good at - building a decent society by protecting people at work."

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