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Saturday, 10 December 2016

More than 350 workers are being sacked because they would not agree to a new contract that meant less pay.


Care workers sacked because they won't agree to pay cut in council company's 'Project Fear' 



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Council care staff face sack - because they won't sign a contract for less pay 

How times have changed and not for the better.
Some years ago, the thought of an employer being able to sack workers and then in the next second, re employing them on reduced pay and worse conditions, would have been dismissed as a fantasy existing only in the darkest recesses in the mind of the most unscrupulous employer, or in the dream world of some extreme right wing conservative politicians and their supporters, who would also welcome a return to sending children up into chimneys.
Now, since the days of Thatcher and her compulsion to drive working people into submission and be thankful that they actually have a job, with her anti trade union legislation and recourse to the courts of law and the forces of the police, the balance has been grossly changed. Today it is common for this practice to be used as an alternative to normal industrial relations negotiations, whereby an employer can legally say "I will negotiate, but this is what I shall do. If you do not agree, I will terminate your employment and give you a new contract, implementing the changes that I am demanding. Take it or leave it."
The most glaring example in recent months, of this outrageous abuse of the employers position, is the long running Junior Doctors dispute with Jeremy Hunt and the conservative government. There have been numerous examples across other industries not least of all in transport and local authorities and now comes this latest case where more than 350 workers are being sacked by the county–council owned social care company, because they would not agree to a new contract that meant less pay. It is an outrage and it is wrong.

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The reason why that, in the first part of this 21st Century, we are still facing the abuses of rogue employers and the unscrupulous politicians who enthusiastically support them, is the failure of successive Labour party governments to repeal or even amend the anti trade union legislation passed during the 1980's and early 1990's. In fact, the government of Tony Blair, 1997 to 2007 and to a lesser extent the government of Gordon Brown 2007 to 2010, consolidated and expanded legislation placing even more restrictions and available sanctions on working people in this country.

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Did nothing to repeal anti working people lgislation
It is not, nor should it ever be the role of the Labour party, either by design or omission, to perpetuate or introduce, policies and legislation, which are detrimental to or not in the best interests of those people that we seek to represent.
It must be a clear objective and task of the next Labour government and a policy which must be included in our manifesto as a firm commitment, to repeal all anti Trade Union legislation passed into law since 1980, to restore the principle of "Free Collective bargaining" in the workplace, remove the punitive restrictions on the rights to peacefully picket, restore the right to demonstrate and protest against exploitation, restore the rights to withdraw labour and to end the restrictions on the right of working people to organise and join Trade Unions.
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Working people in this country have in many cases, been reduced to the levels of slave labour with Zero hour contracts, imposed short time working, less than minimum wage payments and often dangerous working condition. We in the Labour party and Trade Union movement, must lead the way in the struggle to restore decent working conditions and practices and bring back balance to the current grossly distorted worker to employer relationship.