'No backsliding' on 'New Deal' for workers

Unite delegate Julian Allam says Labour must not "water down commitments on workers' rights"

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Unite delegate Julian Allam gave an impassioned defence of a New Deal for Working People at Labour Party Conference on Tuesday (October 10).

Julian called the last decade of Tory misrule “devastating” as he highlighted how “workers’ rights have been attacked and public services cut and privatised” alongside new anti-trade union laws.

“To win the next election, we need policies that rebalance power in the economy back from bad bosses, and back into the hands of working people,” he said.

Julian spoke of his disappointment to see Labour’s National Policy Forum report “watering down commitments on workers’ rights and putting barriers up for trade unions accessing workplaces”.  

He asserted that the ban on zero-hour contracts “must not open up a loophole to give employers a way round the legislation”.

Turning to Fair Pay Agreements, he said that limits on what unions can negotiate on, including removing pensions, constituted “a clear diminishing of the purpose of collective bargaining”. 

“There can be no backsliding from the commitments in the New Deal for Working People,” Julian told conference.

“Labour must give working people the right to stand up for ourselves” on “collective bargaining, banning zero-hour contracts, and unconditional access to workplaces for unions,” Julian continued, emphasising that Labour must repeal all anti-trade union laws.

Urging support for the motion, Julian highlighted that such policies are popular and must be adopted by Labour.

By Hajera Blagg

Pic by Mark Thomas