GMB Welcomes Labour’s Election Pledges

The GMB union has welcomed the Labour Party’s election pledges to put working people and trade unionists at the centre of the 2015 general election.

The GMB is one of 15 Labour-affiliated unions that make up the Trade Union and Labour Party Liaison Organisation (TULO), which launched its Manifesto for Change earlier this month. Speaking at the launch, GMB general secretary and TULO chair Paul Kenny said:

“For too many, wages are stagnating while they balloon for the rich; people are being forced into insecure, exploitative work with the use of zero-hours contracts which can pay less and remove our right to sick and holiday pay; and our cherished public services and NHS are being run into the ground.

“For the first time since the 1920s, people will be worse off at the end of the Parliament than they were at the beginning. The Tories want to continue down this track and take us back to a time before the creation of a National Health Service and our welfare state.

“That’s why this election really matters, because working people can’t afford more of the same.

“And so we’re launching our Manifesto for Change, which will put working people and trade unionists at the centre of the 2015 general election.”

TULO’s manifesto lists 25 pledges covering wages, jobs, rights at work, NHS/health and quality of life, as follows:

Wages – a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay

A Labour government has pledged to:

  • increase the minimum wage to £8 an hour before the end of the Parliament
  • promote the living wage to reduce the cost to taxpayers in subsidising low wages in our social security system
  • stop wages from being undercut by abolishing the loophole which allows workers to be undercut by agency workers
  • tackle gender inequality in the workplace by requiring large companies to publish their gender pay gap and strengthening the law on maternity discrimination.

Jobs – tackling insecurity and creating better opportunities for young people

A Labour government has pledged to:

  • end exploitative zero hours contracts which stop people from being able to plan
  • require every firm that gets a major government contract to offer high-quality apprenticeships
  • raise the quality of apprenticeships so they last a minimum of two years.

Rights at work – more than just a voice; legal rights so we are treated fairly

A Labour government has pledged to:

  • tackle the low skills, low wage culture by building partnerships between workers and employers
  • launch an enquiry into blacklisting
  • reform the employment tribunal system, introducing a system where affordability is not be a barrier to workplace justice
  • fairness in levels of health and safety protection at work, from larger workplaces to the self-employed
  • proper recompense for people who have contracted asbestos-related diseases as a result of their work
  • look at ways to ensure proper facility time for union representatives
  • flexible working for parents, and support for grandparents to fit care of their grandchildren around work
  • reinstate third party harassment from the Equality Act to ensure that people are protected from all harassment and bullying at work.

NHS/health – stop the sell-off of our NHS and build a world-class service we can all rely on

A Labour government has pledged to:

  • repeal the Tories’ Health & Social Care Act, alleviating our services from the threat of competition
  • recruit 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs paid for by a tax on properties worth £2 million or more and a tax on tobacco companies
  • guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours – and on the same day for those who need it
  • guarantee that patients will wait no longer than one week for vital cancer tests and results by 2020
  • ensure workers in emergency services are properly trained and able to treat people at accident on the scene.

Quality of life – raising living standards, making sure working people don’t fear that last week before pay day

A Labour government has pledged to:

  • 25 hours of free childcare for working parents with three and four year olds, paid for with an increase in the bank levy
  • scrap the bedroom tax
  • freeze energy bills until 2017 and reform the broken energy market
  • introduce a strict cap on annual rail fare increases across all rail routes
  • strengthen Ofwat’s powers to cut water bills.

“We will be campaigning for a pay-rise for millions of people who struggle to make ends meet and an end to the low-pay economy,” promised Kenny. “We need to create secure jobs free from exploitation and stop the sell-off of our cherished NHS.

“After five years of Tory neglect, we will fight this election on behalf of millions of working people across this country who want to see a society work for them and not just an elite at the top.

“We are asking members to join the campaign for real change today because we can’t afford five more years of the same.

“It is now clear that the Conservative Party have the trade union movement firmly in its sights. In the last few days we have seen proposals to restrict our right to take lawful industrial action and to allow employers to use agency staff to break a lawful strike. They must be stopped before they go any further.”


More on the GMB here.

Click here for ‘Unbalanced Britain: Work, Wages and Labour’ and to register for the ILP’s forthcoming seminar in Leeds on Labour’s election promises.