The TUC have set up a campaign to defend employment rights www.stopemploymentwrongs.org.uk
This is because hard fought for employment rights are under attack.
I got a flat tyre and while at the garage, mechanics told me about how to cover for staff shortages they were required to work regular overtime. Fair enough but suddenly overtime pay has ceased with no prior warning.
They asked what they could do. No one was hopeful that the company would voluntarily reverse its decision. While I waited we drafted a grievance letter and I’ll pop back with union application forms and see how they are getting on.
It isn’t unusual for workers to be told they are not allowed to join a union as was the case with these mechanics. Yet as the law stands if enough workers get together employers are obliged to recognise a trade union. This right is under threat.
If employee’s claims for contractual rights are dismissed by their employer taking a case to an employment tribunal may become prohibitively costly.
The example of unpaid overtime is a good one to look at. To recover unpaid wages or holiday pay from an employer, if the changes go ahead as feared, workers will need to pay upfront fees of either £200 or £400 – which could be more than the sum claimed.
Many of the attacks were thought up by Tory donor and venture capitalist Adrian Beecroft. A payment of £400 is a pittance to Beecroft who has donated more than half a million pounds to the Tory Party since David Cameron came to power.
One of the most extreme proposals is the abolition of the Gangmasters’ Licensing Authority – brought in after 21 Chinese cockle pickers were drowned in Morecambe Bay.
Compassionate conservatism – I don’t think so.
Join the campaign, we are the majority who believe workplace rights are essential and our voices must be heard