FBU: Labour conference commits to expansion of workers’ rights

Matt Wrack of the FBU.

In a key vote, Labour Party conference has today endorsed a motion calling for a raft of workers’ rights under the New Deal for Working People.

It puts in writing the commitment that there “will be no regression from the New Deal”.

The wording of the motion, which was proposed by the Communication Workers Union and the Fire Brigades Union, commits Labour to a number of measures, including:

– Implementing a single status of worker and ending bogus self-employment within the first term of a Labour Government
– The rollout of sectoral collective bargaining across the economy.
– Repeal of anti-trade union legislation including Trade Union Act 2016 and the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023.
– The end ‘fire and rehire’ and ‘fire and replace’.
– Introducing effective remedies against abuse by employers
– A fully resourced Single Enforcement Body.
– Increasing Statutory Sick Pay and extending to it to self-employed.
– Simplifying the process of union recognition and ensuring reasonable access within workplaces.

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said:
“Labour Party conference has spoken. This vote sends a clear message to Keir Starmer and the rest of the Labour leadership that there must be no backsliding on commitments to workers’ rights. The New Deal for Working people must be implemented in full.
“For decades, profit and wealth accumulation have been prioritised over the needs of working people. Trade unions have been shackled with authoritarian laws and real wages have plummeted.
“If it wants to rebuild Britain, Labour must smash the Tories’ anti-worker agenda and lead the way in improving workers’ rights, conditions and pay.”


1 The New Deal for Working People can be read here: https://labour.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/New-Deal-for-Working-People-Green-Paper.pdf
2 The full text of the motion passed at Labour conference today is as follows:

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed how grotesquely undervalued workers are in our society. Instead of learning lessons from this life-altering period, inequalities are growing and are being exacerbated by today’s world of work.
Business leaders used to be paid to build companies, create growth and secure employment. Now, profiteering is increasingly shaping our world of work, with short- term profits favoured over long-term investment.
The expansion of the gig economy has created a major barrier to improving pay, conditions and security for workers everywhere. Companies bogusly self-employ workers with no consequence, pushing down wages across entire sectors of the economy. These companies and their employment practices need to be fundamentally changed.
Outside the workplace, our society is literally crumbling and public services are beyond breaking point. Yet the wealthiest in our society escape fair taxation and profiteering has become the norm.
It is clear that after thirteen years of Tory rule, the world of work is completely broken and workers need change immediately.
Conference commends Keir Starmer’s key role in developing A New Deal for Working People and welcomes the vital role Andy McDonald and Angela Rayner have played making it government-ready. Working with trade union affiliates, the New Deal will be immediately implemented in full when in government, to shift balance towards labour, away from capital.
Conference affirms there will be no regression from the New Deal.
Conference welcomes Labour’s commitment to repeal in full the Trade Union Act 2016, the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2022 and the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023 (MSLs).
Conference agrees with TUC 2023 policy to build mass opposition to the MSLs laws, up to and including a strategy of non-compliance and non-cooperation to make them unworkable, including industrial action.
Congress resolves that the next Labour government should:
· Understand that the New Deal for Workers is an electoral advantage, not a disadvantage and implement it in its entirety when elected
· Expand their commitment to sectoral collective bargaining beyond one sector to tackle the imbalance of power in the workplace
· Commit properly to implementing a single status of worker and end bogus self- employment within the first term of a Labour Government
Labour in government will immediately implement A New Deal for Working People in full including:
· Widespread rollout across the economy of sectoral collective bargaining.
· Repeal of anti-trade union legislation including Trade Union Act 2016, the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023.
· End ‘fire and rehire’ and ‘fire and replace’, replace the inadequate statutory code and reform the law to provide effective remedies against abuse.
· A fully resourced Single Enforcement Body.
· Increase Statutory Sick Pay and extend to self-employed.
· Simplify the process of union recognition and ensure reasonable access within workplaces

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.