Stop the jobs crisis
The jobs crisis continues, and will accelerate with the withdrawal of the Furlough scheme. Young workers in particular are at the sharpest end of the crisis, with nearly two thirds of job losses concentrated among the under 25s. BAME and migrant workers have also faced disproportionate job losses. We need a ‘green jobs’ revolution to address the urgent threat posed by climate change – and to provide new skilled jobs. This requires massive state investment and public ownership in renewable energy. We demand that the minimum wage is a living wage of at least £15 an hour. We support the call by John Hendy for a ‘single status’ Bill that would end the use of fake ‘self-employment’ by firms and allow all workers to have the same employment rights.
Rebuild the NHS and fight for a publicly run social care system
The success of the vaccination programme is a testament to the NHS and the role of public services in contrast to the abysmal failure and expense of the privatised Test and Trace operation. It underlines the need to stop and reverse all outsourcing from the NHS. A decade of underfunding, outsourcing and privatisation in the NHS have to be reversed. We support the demand for a 15 percent immediate pay rise for all NHS staff. We need a fully funded, publicly run social care service. We support the call for a ‘People’s Vaccine’ by lifting the patents of pharmaceutical companies to improve access to vaccines globally.
A wave of attacks and redundancies are ripping through higher education. A massive programme of investment in publicly funded education needs to be introduced. Student fees must be scrapped. The trade union movement needs to mobilise to stop the wave of redundancies in further and higher education. Our schools urgently need more funding, an end to league tables and academisation. The scandal of child poverty (including lack of access to laptops and broadband) must be urgently addressed.
Workplaces should only be open if sources of transmission are regularly risk-assessed and controlled. Workers need to have direct control over safety in the workplace. The mass use of Section 44 by the NEU and Unison in schools was an effective weapon in the fight for safety. We support the campaign to extend and increase sick pay to £330 a week and for it to cover all absences. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) is underfunded, too close to employers and not fit for purpose. Trade unions must be given a much greater say and majority representation on the HSE board.
End fire and rehire
The spreading use of the threat and use of mass sackings by employers to force workers to accept cuts to their pay and conditions must be banned and every instance of its use should meet the full force of the union movement.
A pay rise for every worker
Rising inflation underlines the need for every worker to get a major pay rise. We commit to opposing the public sector pay freeze and to support every private sector pay fight.
Make the building developers pay
Building developers, not leaseholders or councils, must be made to pay for the removal of unsafe cladding on buildings and other necessary safety measures. The governments must fund councils to make council housing safe. The moratorium on evictions for rent arrears must be reinstated. We support the demand to requisition the half a million long term empty homes and turn these into council housing.
Tax the rich
The richest in society have seen their wealth vastly increase during the Covid crisis. In the UK there are now a record 171 billionaires. This is in the same period when the rate of poverty for working households in Britain reached a record high. We want the wealthiest to pay higher rates of tax to fund public services, not another decade of austerity.
Public enquiry now
We support the demand for the immediate setting up of an independent public inquiry into all the governments of the UK’s disastrous handling of the Covid pandemic.
Renationalise public transport
The pandemic has hit public transport revenues. This underlines the urgent need for an integrated, renationalised and fully funded transport system, which the government’s Williams Report into the railways fails to address.
Keep the £20 uplift to Universal Credit
Make the uplift to benefits permanent and extend it to those on legacy benefits. The welfare system needs to be overhauled and benefits massively increased. We support the campaigns to scrap Universal Credit and the Bedroom Tax.
Defend our right to protest
We support the ‘Kill the Bill’ movement to stop the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which is aimed at placing draconian curbs on effective protests, including picket lines. Our rights must be defended – by organising, striking and protesting.
Fight racism and the hostile environment
The Tories are deepening and expanding the hostile environment for refugees and migrants in British society. The trade union movement must be mobilised to push back against the hostile environment and racism. We will organise to challenge and oppose all forms of racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia and discrimination against disabled people.