Plans announced by the shadow chancellor John McDonnell to strengthen the rights of ‘gig economy’ workers and trade unions, show Labour has the determination to bring back fairness to working life, the leader of Unite said today (Tuesday 11 September). Responding to John McDonnell’s speech to TUC congress, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Every decent person in the country should applaud the proposals set out by John McDonnell and Labour.

“The impact on families and workers when work has been casualised, as it has been for millions in this country today, is appalling.

“It is simply not right for the sixth richest country on earth to have allowed a situation to develop whereby a worker only knows if he or she will earn a wage that day when they get a text message to tell them that they have a shift.

“There should be no crowing from Tory ministers on the economy when they have presided over a decade-long squeeze in living standards and an explosion in exploitative zero contracts and precarious work. Last year the TUC found that insecure work was costing the UK £4 billion in lost taxes. That is £75 million a week and money that ought to be going on our NHS, schools and local services.

“Insecure work hurts us all. We will not start to address the dreadful and growing inequality in this county until we make work pay. This government has shown that they have neither the interest in nor appetite for doing this or tackling the abuse and insecurity faced by workers.

“John McDonnell and Labour has reminded us today that they do and should be congratulated for being determined to bring back some fairness and decency to working life in this country.”

ENDS

For more information please contact Alex Flynn Unite head of media and campaigns on 07967 665869 alex.flynn@unitetheunion.org

Notes to editors:

  • Unite is represents workers in Britain and Ireland with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.