A new campaign plan for Britain’s unions
Since the birth of the coalition in the Downing Street Rose Garden back in May 2010, it has been the TUC and Britain’s unions that have been at the forefront arguing against austerity. We have organised the two biggest demonstrations against austerity since the election, coordinated action to defend our pensions, held off attacks on our workplace rights and fought against the privatisation of the NHS. At every turn we have mobilised and energised people to take action against the sustained dismantling of the fabric of our society and the tearing up of the safety net that exists to help the most vulnerable.
But as our stagnant economy bumps along with little sign of recovery and the public express their pain and anger, still the Chancellor stays the course.
Falling living standards, no wage growth, basic food and energy bills rising, services and jobs lost and no plans for recovery and growth – all threatening a lost decade. In stark contrast, the past few years have been a veritable bed of roses for the richest; we’ve even seen a tax cut for millionaires. The victims of this recession continue to be those who did least to cause it.
With an election two years away, we are upping the ante; our biggest political challenge to get the government to change strategy still remains.
The TUC’s general council has adopted five ambitious and challenging campaign areas to prioritise in the run up to the next general election. Our new campaign plan sets out five key priorities that will drive the work of the TUC over the next two years; Jobs and growth, fair pay, good services & decent welfare, voice at work and strong unions
A jobs guarantee for young people, spreading the living wage across the public and private sectors, putting communities not profits at the heart of public services, and creating a stronger voice for workers in the management of companies are among our campaign aims.
We will champion and work with those who are helping to create a fairer economy – from paying a living wage to giving staff a bigger say in how their company is run. The campaign for jobs, growth and a new economy will mobilise resistance to austerity, with a series of events across the UK this summer, and will also provide a platform for advocates of pro-growth policies and new economic ideas. The TUC will work with and champion public and private sector employers who reach living wage agreements, as part of its campaign for fair pay and a living wage.
Opposing the outsourcing and privatisation of public services will be the focus of good services and decent welfare. Having overseen the fragmentation of the NHS, ministers now want to introduce the profit motive into Britain’s schools. The TUC will fight this privatisation drive, which we know the public doesn’t support.
Having helped see off some of the government’s attacks on employment rights in the Beecroft report, the TUC will continue to press for respect and a voice at work for UK employees. Finally, the TUC’s strong unions programme will train of a new generation of union reps to take the TUC campaign messages to non-unionised workers and workplaces and give a voice to a new generation of young employees.
The TUC is not alone in wanting radical economic and social change. We’ll be calling on communities and campaign groups nationwide to join our campaign for a new economic settlement that involves and works for the whole country.
The next election is likely to be fought over the economy and our living standards crisis. For the worker must not only have bread, she must have roses, too. We want to see decent jobs, fair pay, good services and a stronger voice at work at the heart of the plan to deal with these big economic challenges.
Please take a moment to read the new campaign plan and share it with your friends and colleagues.