Received from: Aegis
Congress’s understanding is that the Labour Party, if elected to government, intends to include sectoral councils as a key part of its proposals for new legislation on fair work at the heart of the first Queen’s Speech. Given that an election is due any time, there is a premium on Congress shaping proposals so that Labour hits the ground running and secures protection of collective bargaining coverage for millions of more workers.
Congress notes that the TUC is working on a statement on collective bargaining setting out proposals for regulatory reform to facilitate a step-change in collective bargaining coverage and we welcome this move.
The overall aim is to design bargaining machinery and rights that both sets decent standards and strengthens union membership.
There is wide agreement among UK unions that raising collective bargaining coverage must go hand-in-hand with raising union membership. This will require a package of proposals to re-establish sectoral bargaining, strengthen workplace/enterprise bargaining and boost organising rights for unions.
As part of the proposals Congress calls on the General Council to secure a commitment from Labour to ensure that any company that receives government funding or grants (tax payers money) to help set up in the UK, or to help through a troubled period, must have a union recognition agreement that supports collective bargaining with an independent trade union that is affiliated to the TUC.
- Add at end of paragraph 2: “Collective agreements lead to higher pay, better pensions, enhanced safety at work and better terms and conditions.”
- Add at end of paragraph 4: “It should include a new duty to bargain on companies with over 250 employees. This would cover half of all employees in the private sector, which must be a priority for union organising.”