Received from: Unite
Congress believes that the government has abjectly failed to produce an industrial strategy that meets the needs of working people by re-balancing the economy for sustainable, job-creating growth.
The last year has been a litany of government failures, from the refusal to intervene in the takeover of GKN by asset-stripping firm Melrose to the cancellation of the Swansea Tidal Lagoon.
Congress echoes the concerns of shadow chancellor John McDonnell that the deep structural problems in our economy that led to the financial crisis – and the decade of subsequent austerity – have not been dealt with.
One result of the chronic levels of underinvestment is the alarming fall in the number of high-quality apprenticeships. Young workers remain more likely to be offered a zero-hours contract than a union-recognised, well-paid apprenticeship.
Congress calls on the General Council to campaign for an industrial strategy for the many, which includes:
i. strengthening worker voice by promoting and extending collective bargaining and sectoral collective bargaining
ii. support for UK manufacturing, construction and infrastructure investments
iii. a commitment to positive procurement to support foundation industries, such as the use of UK steel for the next generation of RN fleet support ships
iv. strategic support so the UK remains a world leader in emerging technologies, such as electric vehicles
v. high-quality apprenticeships and an urgent review of the apprenticeship levy to close loopholes and guarantee a union voice on national skills bodies
vi. reform of takeovers, merger and acquisition regulation to promote long-termism and protect the interests of workers and communities.
Add sub-paragraph vii. at end:
“vii. support for investment and strategic planning to ensure UK industry is at the forefront of a just transition to a low-carbon economy and the fight against climate change, including by means of an integrated transport strategy.”