Blog: The hope Labour can bring

The party’s New Deal for Working People, planned with UNISON’s involvement, would make a huge improvement to working people’s lives

Christina McAnea

Winning seats like Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy in Scotland is a must for Labour at the next election.

If Labour does win back the seat (and many others like it) to secure a general election victory, it will be because of the promises the party is making in the New Deal for Working People. This package of rights, protections and actions was written up in partnership with trade unions and is packed full of UNISON priorities.

It’s not difficult to see the huge part UNISON played in developing the transformational plan for workers and the economy.

I spent yesterday with Angela Rayner, the deputy leader of the Labour Party, and Wilma Brown, UNISON activist and parliamentary candidate in that Scottish seat, bringing hope of what the New Deal can achieve to voters’ doorsteps.

Christina McAnea with Angela Rayner, Wilma Brown, and UNISON activists

Christina McAnea with Angela Rayner, Wilma Brown, and UNISON activists

The Westminster government’s only plan for workers is to threaten them with the sack if they try to take strike action to secure better pay and conditions. Labour’s plan offers so much for trade unions and the workers they represent.

A new government needs to make work pay with a genuine living wage, pay equality and Fair Pay Agreements in social care. Workers need more security, with an end to zero-hours contracts and fire and rehire. Trade unions need strengthened rights to organise and our whole society will benefit from better sick pay, parental leave and day-one rights at work. The New Deal promises all of this.

Workers can only thrive when they’re being treated fairly and paid enough to have a decent life. Good employers already know that and do the right thing by their staff. But for so many others, they’re at the whim of unscrupulous bosses.

UNISON is fully behind the New Deal and Labour’s promise to introduce an Employment Rights Bill within the first 100 days of office. UNISON will hold an incoming Labour government to account, making sure it delivers on its promise to make Britain work for working people.