Motion to Young Labour policy conference (3): Workers’ rights

Young Labour’s national policy conference takes place 14-15 October at Warwick University. Young supporters of The Clarion are working with other left-wingers to submit a series of motions. Each motion needs a proposer and ten seconders who are individual party members under the age of 27: you can submit motions here. The deadline is 2 October.

To support the submission of this motion, please email:


Young Labour notes

1. That on 4 September, members of the Bakers’, Food and Allied Workers’ Union at McDonald’s branches in Cambridge and Crayford struck for £10 an hour, secure contracts with guaranteed hours, and union recognition, as well as grievances over bullying from management.
2. That attempting to live on low wages, with no guaranteed hours, has meant that some young employees have found themselves unable to meet their rent payments and so become homeless.
3. The ongoing, year-long struggle by Picturehouse cinema workers (part of Cineworld) to win the Living Wage, decent maternity and sick pay, and union recognition, as well as the reinstatement of four sacked union reps.
4. That this summer has seen a number of strikes, from cleaners at London universities and hospitals to BA cabin crew, London buses, rail workers, Sellafield nuclear workers, Fawley oil refinery, TAs in Durham and Derby, teachers at Forest Hill School and refuse workers in Birmingham and Doncaster. We are possibly about to see a major national strike in Royal Mail.
5. That as of 1 April 2017, the National Living Wage of £7.50 is obligatory only for workers over 25, with lower rates for 21-4 year olds, 18-20 year olds, and under 18s. Apprentices under 19, or in their first year, are entitled to £3.50 per hour. There is no minimum wage for under 16s. Over recent years, unions have successfully negotiated the removal of these differential youth rates from many agreements so that young workers are paid the same as over 25s.
6. That at conference the party voted unanimously for a composite motion proposed by GMB and USDAW to back the McDonald’s, Picturehouse and other workers’ struggles, to introduce a £10ph minimum wage and ban zero hours contracts, to rebuild collective barganing and to repeal not just the Trade Union Act but the anti-union laws introduced by the Tories in the 80s and 90s.
7. That at this year’s Trades Union Congress Jeremy Corbyn urged young people to join a union and get organised at work as the most effective way to fight precariousness and low pay.

Young Labour believes

1. Labour must support workers’ struggles. The party should proudly support and encourage strikes as something positive: workers standing up for themselves.
2. That young people should not be discriminated against through lower rates of pay – all youth rates should be abolished. The minimum wage should be replaced with a universal living wage of £10 per hour. We should support low-paid workers’ struggles.
3. That the next Labour government must meet the public-sector unions’ demands for pay increases in full.
4. That we must restore our right to strike effectively, as advocated in the conference motion referred to above, by campaigning to 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.

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