Resolutions to Labour conference: free movement, right to strike, nationalise the banks

The Clarion is promoting the following contemporary resolutions for CLPs to send to the 2017 Labour Party conference. Please note that all these motions have been updated since earlier drafts. For how these motions work and how to submit them, see here. CLPs have until 14 September to submit.

These issues are our priorities, but we are also promoting other left-wing motions produced by various organisations and individuals. If there is a topic you want to submit a motion on not covered here, get in touch: theclarionmag@gmail.com

***

MIGRATION AND FREE MOVEMENT: AN AGENDA OF HOPE AND SOLIDARITY

Conference notes the free movement debate. On 16 August the Government’s Northern Ireland position paper showed difficulties in restricting free movement in Northern Ireland. On 24 August, ONS reported EU migration had fallen by 51,000. On 26 August, Labour proposed a transitional Brexit deal, including free movement.

Stagnating wages, crumbling services and the housing crisis were caused by government and employers making the rich richer at working people’s expense – not immigration.

We need massive public funding to ensure good jobs, homes, services and benefits for all; scrapping of anti-union laws and stronger rights so workers can push up wages and conditions; and communities uniting across divisions to win changes.

Labour is the party of all workers, regardless of where they were born. We note many struggles where migrants have been central to improving low-paid workers’ wages and rights, like the recent victorious cleaners’ campaign at LSE.

Free movement benefits all workers. Without it, migrants are more vulnerable to hyper-exploitation, making downward pressure on wages more likely. Limiting it would damage the economy and hit living standards.

Britain and the EU should welcome migration across Europe and from beyond.

In government, we should maintain and extend free movement; scrap the net migration target; strengthen refugee rights; dismantle the brutal anti-migrant regime built over decades; abolish immigration detention centres; ensure the right to family reunion; end use of “no recourse to public funds”; end use of landlords and health workers as border guards; and reverse attacks on migrants’ access to the NHS.

(250 words)

[This resolution was written by the Labour Campaign for Free Movement.]

***

SUPPORTING WORKERS AND TRADE UNIONS

Conference notes that on 18 August the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union announced Britain’s first ever McDonald’s strike, on 4 September in Cambridge and Crayford – demanding £10ph, guaranteed secure hours and union recognition. This is a big deal.

On 4-5 August Picturehouse cinema workers (part of Cineworld) struck again in their year-long dispute to win the Living Wage, decent maternity and sick pay, and union recognition.

We note the recent victories against outsourcing and casualisation won by cleaners at LSE and SOAS.

Labour wholeheartedly supports workers’ struggles. Our manifesto rightly said: “the most effective way to maintain good rights at work is collectively through a union”. Strong unions, freed from legal shackles and bolstered by positive legal rights, will be key to tackling poverty, insecurity and inequality, transforming society and creating an economy that works for the many, not the few.

For unions to be effective, workers need an effective right to strike. We note that conference 2015 voted unanimously to “legislate for strong rights to unionise, win recognition and collective bargaining, strike, picket and take solidarity action”.

Labour will
• Support all workers standing up for their rights.
• Integrate campaigns for policies like £10ph and scrapping zero hours contracts with supporting strikes and workers’ struggles.
• Scrap all anti-union laws and introduce a strong legal charter of workers’ rights – to unionise; win recognition and collective bargaining; strike, for purposes of workers’ own choosing including in solidarity with other workers and for political goals; and picket freely.

(246 words)

***

A PUBLICLY OWNED BANKING SYSTEM

Conference notes that on August 9, 2007, BNP Paribas froze three of its funds due to “the complete evaporation of liquidity in certain market segments”: it is now a decade since the banks sparked a global economic crisis.

Despite the £850bn bailout and public guarantee of the UK banking sector, we are alarmed to note that on 3 August 2017, the governor of the Bank of England warned of the dangers of the UK returning to the “light touch” banking regulation that contributed to the post-2007 financial crisis.

We note the 21 August announcement from consumer group Which? that bank branches are shutting at a rate of ten a day.

Since the credit crunch bankers’ bonuses have totalled £128bn, while virtually all working people have suffered austerity. The situation is already intolerable. Another banking crisis would have dire consequences.

We can have no confidence in a private banking sector subject only to “regulatory oversight”. Democratic public ownership is imperative in order to guarantee economic security. We can’t control what we don’t own.

We therefore applaud and adopt the TUC’s policy to nationalise the banks and create a “publicly owned banking service, democratically and accountably managed… [to] play a central role in building a sustainable economy, investing in transport, green industries, housing, creating jobs and assisting recovery in the interests of working people”.

Conference resolves specifically that the next Labour government will bring the largest retail, commercial and investment banks into 100% democratic public ownership, with compensation only for small shareholders.

(250 words)

2 Comments

Leave a Reply