Working people in the UK can thank our trade unions for fighting to give us the minimum wage, parental rights, holidays and sickness pay. Yet I have spoken to countless trade union officials who tell me that, despite the widespread desire for improved rights and conditions at work, efforts to unionise staff in such workplaces are often fruitless. This is because currently there are no rights of access for trade unions to enter the workplace and speak to workers for the purposes of recruitment.
I previously presented a private Member’s Bill which seeks to remove a number of these restrictions which over 50 MPs were willing to co-sign. However, to date I have not been supported by a single Conservative or Liberal Democrat MP.
In truth, a happy, well-respected workforce is also a productive one, but the stories I have heard from union officials paint the opposite picture: too many people in this country feel exploited and dispensable at work.
If we are to transition away from a low-wage, precarious economy, increasing the collective bargaining power of our workers is critical. That is why I am fighting to improve trade union access to the workplace. We need strong trade unions and a better deal for working people.
Watch my full speech here: https://youtu.be/KnUCj6481vo