04 November 2016
Mick Whelan, General Secretary of ASLEF, has welcomed the Institute of Employment Rights’ Manifesto for Labour, pledging the support of his union.
The Manifesto includes 25 recommendations for the reform of labour law, shifting the focus from top-down statutory minimums (which provide employers with a floor to aim for) to collectively bargained wages and conditions that provide workers with a stronger voice at their workplace, in their industries, and at the heart of government.
Policies include promoting collective bargaining at both sectoral and enterprise levels; making statutory rights universal and applicable from day one; simplifying employment statuses to ensure that those currently in precarious work such as through agencies, zero-hours contracts or those misclassified as self employed are eligible to workers’ rights; repealing the Trade Union Act 2016; and removing the barriers currently preventing workers from accessing justice when they are treated unfairly.
Our proposals have been adopted by the Labour Party and ASLEF is the latest of 13 unions, as well as the TUC, that officially support the Institute’s approach.
Mick Whelan said: “It is the job of a trade union to counter the imbalance of power that is inherent in the employer-worker relationship, but anti-trade union legislation and the weakening of employment law has impeded our ability to represent workers and made it easier for businesses to act in exploitative ways that damage livelihoods, the quality of services, and the economy as a whole.
“In the rail industry, we have seen the devastating results, with employers cutting staff to widen their profit margins, slashing pay and conditions, and taking on an increasingly casualised workforce, all while raising fares and failing to deliver much-needed services.
“Under the proposals put forth by the Institute of Employment Rights in its Manifesto for Labour, workers would have a stronger voice at enterprise and sectoral levels, as well as in parliament through their representation at a National Economic Forum and a Ministry of Labour.
“ASLEF supports these recommendations wholeheartedly and the Labour Party’s vow to implement them.”