Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/947/25361

From The Socialist newspaper, 3 May 2017

Jeremy Corbyn's workers' charter

London strike demo 30 November 2011 pensions dispute photo Senan, photo Senan

London strike demo 30 November 2011 pensions dispute photo Senan, photo Senan   (Click to enlarge)

To be scrapped

To be introduced

We say


Freeing workers and unions

Rob Williams, Socialist Party national industrial organiser

Workers will welcome Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell's 20-point workers' charter to fix the "rigged economy" in the workplace.

Restoring, defending and strengthening trade union rights - as the most effective way to fight for more secure employment and better wages - is a major theme of the programme. These policies, on condition they are made part of Labour's manifesto, could open the door to challenging mass casualisation and low pay.

The commitment to repeal 2016's Trade Union Act would be a major step forward. It needs to be a first step towards removing all of the anti-union laws.

Thatcher's additions to anti-union legislation were maintained by Tony Blair - who boasted that on his watch, they were "the most restrictive union laws in the Western world." Incidentally, the right to strike should be restored to the POA union of prison officers and allied workers.

The policy of abolishing Tory employment tribunal fees would also be a big advancement. Just a year after their introduction, there was a 70% fall in workers challenging bosses at tribunals.

The pledged public inquiry into blacklisting is also much needed, to expose and redress persecution of trade unionists.

In some respects, the charter doesn't just seek to reverse the anti-working class policies of the last seven years of Tory government, propped up for the first five by the Lib Dems. It could also undo some of the anti-working class policies of Blair and Gordon Brown's 'New Labour'.

And it is an effective answer to the fatalists and pessimists within Labour and the unions, who have totally misunderstood why millions of workers voted to leave the EU - in part, as a blow against the capitalist establishment and its neoliberal 'race to the bottom' in the workplace.

These policies represent a far stronger defence of workers' rights than the limited protections of the EU - and without accepting the EU's undercutting of collective agreements and pay.

It is explicit: "Ensure that any employer wishing to recruit labour from abroad does not undercut workers at home - because it causes divisions when one workforce is used against another."

Overall, the current programme can and should be strengthened - but it is an important foundation that will be attractive to workers. The Corbyn movement must seriously campaign on it so that workers are convinced it would be implemented, taking it into factories and offices as well.

Doing this - as well as pledging policies like renationalising rail, energy and Royal Mail - could really inspire workers to vote to put Jeremy into government.

And it would totally expose the hypocrisy of Theresa May, who has tried to style herself as pro-worker, aware of the massive anger against the counterrevolution in workers' pay and conditions over the last decades.

But it has to be campaigned for alongside socialist policies that challenge capitalist ownership of the economy, as the essential guarantee for workers' rights and a decent future for us and our families.


Fighting poverty pay

Glenn Kelly, Socialist Party industrial department

Millions of workers in Britain are condemned to low pay and insecure contracts. Corbyn and McDonnell's 20 points offer a significant step forward for many. They must be welcomed as a great first step.

The programme's key measures on pay include a pledge to raise the minimum wage, which Corbyn has previously promised to lift to 10 an hour in 2020. Ending the public sector pay cap, banning zero-hour contracts, and reinstating collective bargaining are other key policies.

With six million workers earning less than the (real) living wage, 10 an hour in particular is very welcome.

Corbyn must head off Blairite attempts to undermine this by pledging its immediate introduction, not waiting three years. He should also explicitly state there will be no exemptions for youth and training, unlike the Blairite and Tory minimum wage rates.

Public sector workers, whose living standards have fallen for over a decade, will cheer the lifting of the pay cap. But they will rightly demand the thousands stolen off their pay packets returned.

They will want to know how Labour will fund this, and the billions stolen from public services. If Labour were to cancel all 'PFI' privatisation debt, and send the private profiteers packing, that alone would free up billions.

It's not just the rate of pay that pushes people into poverty. Insecure contracts, no guarantees of hours, and being at the beck and call of the boss can force workers to accept bullying and intimidation - or face losing work.

The programme's ban on zero-hour contracts, right to guaranteed hours - and equal employment rights from day one, including part-timers and temps - begin to address this.

It does need more: putting minimum hours up to and including full-time work, as well as flexibility, in workers' hands, not the bosses'. Corbyn should also add to "equal" employment rights from day one, calling as well for full employment rights from day one, including the right to claim unfair dismissal.

Women and young people are the workers most often forced into insecure, part-time work.

The charter's promises to tackle gender pay discrimination and victimisation of pregnant women are good, but need more detail. In particular, free childcare would help ensure women have access to work.

No doubt bosses will complain and try to resist these reforms. Corbyn and McDonnell must give a clear warning to all firms who try to use attacks on workers to pay for these measures.

If the big companies say they can't afford even these modest reforms, despite their massive profits, then Corbyn should tell bosses we can't afford them, and nationalise their firms under democratic workers' control and management.

Public ownership and big business levies could also fund support for small businesses to implement the policies.


Corbyn and McDonnell's 20-point "workers' charter"

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 3 May 2017:


What we think

Race against time for May as Corbyn sets out anti-austerity case


Socialist Party news and analysis

Jeremy Corbyn's workers' charter

Corbyn pledges a million homes and landlord regulation

McDonnell promises reversal of Tories' tax cuts for the super-rich

Corbyn pledges end to uni fees and school cuts

Corbyn government would lift NHS pay cap

Support for socialist programme in Labour Liverpool rally


Social care in crisis

Beyond the crisis point: saving social care


International socialist news and analysis

Packed court laughs down cutter Joan Burton's comparison to Marxist James Connolly

Trump's policies hit a wall


Socialist Students

NUS leadership: Blairites supported by establishment


Workplace news and analysis

Unison health conference: fury over leadership's feet dragging

Union leadership and Labour right challenged at shop workers' conference

McDonald's forced to back down on zero-hours

PCS elections - vote Democracy Alliance

Transport union protests against driver-only operation outside parliament


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Rare opportunity to see Russian revolution lifted off the page


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Mersey metro-mayor TV debate

'Socialist Steve' takes on the robots

TUSC's south Wales challenge to pro-cuts parties


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Buy your ticket now for the political event of the year: Socialism 2017

Housing association workers' and tenants' alternative awards ceremony

Sheffield mental health campaigner: "austerity kills"


 

Home   |   The Socialist 3 May 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleThe Queen's Speech; and defending the right to protest

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleYoung socialists share ideas at London meeting

triangleProtests around the country demand: Tories out!

triangleWhole establishment exposed for role in Grenfell fire

Workers:

triangleBarts Trust NHS workers vote for action over pay

triangleManchester housing maintenance dispute steps up action

triangleWarrington & St Helens Socialist Party: Nationalisation and workers' control explained

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party: Nationalisation and workers' control explained

Unions:

triangleThe have-yachts and the have-nots

triangleUnions call for action after Grenfell

triangleNSSN conference: workers' action to kick out the Tories

Pay:

triangleUnison conference: "A sense of change"

triangleCabin crew calls two-week walkout over blacklisting accusations

Labour:

triangleCamden evacuation - residents expose fire risks

Union:

triangleYoung workers in unions earn 20% more

EU:

triangleWorkers warned boss of tech failure danger

Trade union:

triangleTories out! Corbyn can win with socialist policies

Zero-hour contracts:

triangleBully bosses' zero-hour backdown

Public sector:

triangleWork doesn't pay: Tory policies have meant another wages cut

Minimum wage:

triangleInflation: Workers lose out - time for action

Anti-union laws:

triangleKick out the Tories: For a Corbyn-led government

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

21/6/17

Trade unions

The have-yachts and the have-nots

21/6/17

Education

Open University facing huge cuts

21/6/17

Inflation

Inflation: Workers lose out - time for action

21/6/17

NHS

Kick out the Tories to save the NHS!

21/6/17

Protest

The Queen's Speech; and defending the right to protest

20/6/17

Socialist

Whole establishment exposed for role in Grenfell fire

20/6/17

Brexit

Tories and May stagger on amid crisis - get them out!

19/6/17

Racism

Finsbury Park attack: No to terror, racism, war and austerity!

14/6/17

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: DUP propping up the Tories

14/6/17

London

Massive failings led to Grenfell Tower fire - Rapid, fully funded action now

14/6/17

Scotland

Scotland - SNP loses but Labour could've won more

14/6/17

Bonuses

City bosses' 40m bonuses as Number of food banks hits 2,000

14/6/17

Low-paid

Low-paid work till lunch to make rent

14/6/17

Trump

Corbyn surge beats Trump

14/6/17

Young workers

Young workers in unions earn 20% more

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle24 Jun Camden evacuation - residents expose fire risks

triangle21 Jun Justice for Grenfell and safety for all

triangle21 Jun Cabin crew calls two-week walkout over blacklisting accusations

triangle21 Jun Anger and grief on moving Grenfell marches

triangle21 Jun The Queen's Speech; and defending the right to protest

triangle20 Jun Whole establishment exposed for role in Grenfell fire

triangle20 Jun Tories and May stagger on amid crisis - get them out!

More ...

triangle24 Jun Tamil Solidarity Day

triangle25 Jun East Midlands Socialist Party: Rebellion - Then and Now

triangle1 Jul London: Tories Out national demonstration

triangle3 Jul West Cheshire Socialist Party: Prepare for the next steps towards JC4PM

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2