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Class responds to the launch of Labour’s new Work Manifesto

01.04.2015 

Responding to Ed Miliband’s announcement that Labour will ban zero hours contracts and the launch of Labour’s new Work Manifesto, a spokesperson from Class said:

“Labour’s commitment to tackling exploitative zero hour contracts is very welcome. The number of people on such contracts has shot up under this government with a staggering 1.8 million zero hours contracts last year. Average weekly earnings for those on zero-hours contracts are just £188, compared with £479 for permanent workers and many workers on zero hours are not entitled to key employment rights such as statutory redundancy pay and protection from unfair dismissal and Ed Miliband is right to seek to extend such vital protection.”

“But to truly tackle the growing problem of low-wages, insecure work and falling living standards, the next government needs to go further and raise the national minimum wage to the level of the Living Wage, take action to end the public sector wage freeze, enforce pay ratios and strengthen the bargaining power of labour and trade unions, increasing employee representation in companies and in government.”

“Labour’s announcement of a Work Manifesto that addresses a number of these issues is a first step in the right direction and setting out action to abolish employment tribunal fees, scrapping ‘shares for rights’ as well as taking action on blacklisting will better protect many workers.”

For our full Election Guide on work, pay and unions, click here: http://classonline.org.uk/docs/election15_-_work,_pay,_unions_single.pdf

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Notes to Editors:
1. The Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class) is a new think tank established in 2012 by Unite the Union, GMB and the Institute of Employment Rights to act as a centre for left debate and discussion and has the growing support of a number of trade Unions including ASLEF, CWU, FEU, GFTU, NUT, PCS, PFA, TSSA, UCATT, MU, NUM, BFAWU and UCU. Originating in the labour movement, Class is working with a broad coalition of supporters, academics and experts to develop and advance alternative policies for today.
2. Number of zero hour contracts ONS: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/lmac/contracts-with-no-guaranteed-hours/zero-hour-contracts--2014/index.html
3. Average weekly earnings from TUC: The Decent Jobs Deficit: The Human Cost of Zero-Hours Working and Casual Labour (Dec 2014)

More information
For further information, articles, interviews or media requests please contact Dulcie Fairhurst on Dulcie.fairhurst @classonline.org.uk or 0207 611 2502.

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