UK

Angela Rayner pledges Labour will give unions new rights

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner has assured unions that the party will deliver a host of new rights for workers if it wins the next general election (Peter Byrne/PA)
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner has assured unions that the party will deliver a host of new rights for workers if it wins the next general election (Peter Byrne/PA)

Labour’s deputy leader has assured unions that the party will deliver a host of new rights for workers if it wins the next general election, giving a “cast-iron commitment” of what will happen within 100 days of being office.

Angela Rayner set out Labour’s planned new deal for workers, winning a standing ovation after addressing the TUC Congress on Tuesday.

She told delegates she had one message – that a Labour government will build an economy that works for workers through its promised “new deal”.

“Labour will start by bringing forward an Employment Rights Bill to legislate for this within the first 100 days of entering office. That is a cast-iron commitment,” she said.

“Labour’s New Deal for Working People will transform ordinary working people’s lives.

“Work will finally pay, rights will be properly enforced, and crucially it will strengthen the role of trade unions in our society.”

She outlined plans to update union laws, outlaw blacklisting, give unions a new legal right to access to workplaces, making it easier to recruit and represent workers, and allow electronic balloting.

Ms Rayner – a former social worker – also announced there would be a “fair pay agreement” for workers in adult social care, which she believes will make a big difference to low-paid workers in the sector.

Labour also supports an investigation into the violent events at Orgreave during the miners’ strike.

Ms Rayner added: “We’ll bring in a proper living wage that people can actually live on.

“The State will take a more strategic and active role in our economy by fixing the UK’s broken labour market, giving businesses the confidence they need to invest in our infrastructure and people once more.”

She appealed to unions to stand with Labour in the run-up to the election and campaign “side by side”.

TUC general secretary Paul Nowak said: “Angela Rayner set out a vision for a Britain that delivers for working people.

“Labour’s transformative New Deal for Working People stands in stark contrast to the Tories’ dire record on workers’ rights and pay.

“The Conservatives have presided over an explosion in insecure work and the longest pay squeeze in modern history, and they are now launching a full-scale attack on the right to strike.

“The country desperately needs a fresh start.

“British voters across the political spectrum want more security and fairer treatment at work.

“Make no mistake – implementing the New Deal would be the biggest upgrade in workers’ rights in a generation.”