Ian Lavery, Labour Party National Elections and Campaign Coordinator
I am happy that the Labour Party is still funded mostly by trade unions. The role unions have played in funding Labour since its inception has been under attack from the government through the Lobbying bill and subsequent legislation. The Conservatives have unleashed a rolling programme of attacks on working class people, of which the attack on trade unions is only part.
Our right as citizens to collective bargaining has been seriously undermined, and at the same time, the Conservatives have introduced draconian measures that punish working people on low pay, by the introduction of in-work sanctions to their in-work welfare support. However, it is now employers that have all of the power to set the terms and conditions of employment, not employees.
It’s important that voters are fully informed about the causes and interests a party is likely to represent in government. Labour has historically championed ordinary people’s rights.
“Union money – the few pence freely given every week, by nurses, shop workers and truck drivers – is the cleanest cash in politics today,” Frances O’Grady has said.
“Whether unions set up a political fund is a matter for members, not ministers, because for too long, politics has been controlled by those who already have far too much money and far too much power. Half of the Conservative Party’s funding comes from the City.”
O’Grady also accused the Tories of trying to discredit unions by calling them Labour’s “paymasters”. The Conservatives’ paymasters on the other hand – people like capitalist Adrian Beecroft – who donate many thousands to the party, are undermining our rights in work, framing policies that are heavily weighted towards making big profits for big business, resulting in low pay and insecurity for employees. This reflects the interests of the few, not the many.
Here are a couple of articles which outline some of the reasons I proudly support trade unionism, which is fundamental to a functional democracy: The link between Trade Unionism and equality and Why I strongly support Trade Unionism.
Ian Lavery got in touch with me yesterday, he said:
Last week Labour made 20 pledges to working people – from banning zero hour contracts, a £10 real Living Wage to scrapping the Trade Union Act, a Labour government will put working people first.
I’m proud that Labour is standing on these pledges and I’ll be doing everything I can to ensure that people up and down the country hear the Labour alternative to Tory insecurity.
The next Labour government will bring in a 20 point plan for security and equality at work:
Give all workers equal rights from day one, whether part-time or full-time, temporary or permanent – so that all workers have the same rights and protections whatever kind of job they have.
Ban zero hours contracts – so that every worker gets a guaranteed number of hours each week