After a year that saw workers putting their lives on the line to keep all of us safe, fed and cared for, the government should have made the Queen’s Speech about working people and their communities.
Instead, the government has again failed to fulfil its pledge to protect and enhance workers’ rights through an Employment Bill.
Especially now, when coronavirus support schemes are coming to an end, the government should focus on making work safer and ensure no worker is bullied into a poorer contract.
That’s why at Community we are proud to join the union movement in demanding that the practice of Fire and Rehire will be outlawed.
We are also disappointed that the government did not present a clear plan to fix Sick Pay that would ensure all working people, including the self-employed, will never again be forced to choose between protecting their health and making ends meet.
So long as workers are left exposed to sickness and mistreatment, the government’s talk of “levelling up” rings hollow.
At Community, we recognise the vital importance of upskilling for our members and our economy. We are pleased to see the government too recognising the absolute necessity of training our workforce today, for the jobs of tomorrow.
However, the government’s plan of offering workers a chance to upskill at the price of lifelong debt is no plan at all.
We echo the TUC’s call and urge the government to work with union on a new skills system that invests in workers’ future, not burdens them with lifelong debt.
Finally, we will follow the government’s promise on procurement closely, and expect to see decisive action that will support our steel industry and ensure our steelworkers can compete on a level playing field with European steelmakers.