Monday, 15 May 2017

Workers' rights

Any pronouncement by Mrs May including the word "rights" has to be screened carefully. Her assertion that her proposals for unpaid leave for carers and a nebulous promise to protect people in the "gig economy" represent the "greatest expansion of workers' rights" in the Conservatives' history is demonstrably false when set against Disraeli's record. Admittedly, the Conservatives did little since. In the twentieth century, advances were made only by Liberal and Labour governments against Conservative opposition.

As Sky News reports, Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor, was scathing.

"The Conservatives tried to ban workers from striking and were blocked by the Liberal Democrats in government," said the former business secretary, who clashed with No.10 over workers' rights in the coalition years.

"It's clear they aren't the party of workers' rights and that you can't trust them to care about you and your family."

One measure that Vince could not prevent was the hike in employment tribunal fees which effectively barred all but the comfortably-off and TU-backed from appealing against being sacked unjustifiably. Earlier this year, a review launched by the Conservative government reported. It recommended only some tinkering around the edges.

1 comment:

Frank Little said...

Michael Crick on Channel 4 News yesterday cited another counter to Mrs May's claim: Shaftesbury's reform of child labour and factory working under Robert Peel. Conservatives also have some claim for credit for repealing the anti-union Combination Act, but that was by a Tory government before the term "Conservative" was officially adopted.