Unite the Union

Unite the Union

November 05, 2007 19:01 ET

Unite calls for legislation to prioritise workers in tomorrow's Queen's Speech

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Nov. 5, 2007) -

Issue date: Monday 5th November 2007
Publication date: Tuesday 6th November 2007

Unite, the UK's largest trade union, is asking the government to prioritise legislation to help and protect workers in tomorrow's Queen's Speech.

Speaking ahead of the announcement of the government's new legislative programme tomorrow, Unite says that equal rights for agency workers, better regulation for employment agencies and plans to act on affordable housing and pensions are paramount if the government is to reconnect with workers.

Although Unite notes the anticipated announcement of Employment Simplification Bill which is likely to deal with a range of workplace issues including better enforcement for the National Minimum Wage and increased powers for the Employment Agencies Inspectorate, it will fall short of the legislation that is required to ensure the equal treatment of temporary and agency workers.

Unite say legislation for temporary and agency workers is key to preventing widespread exploitation and abuse of over 1.4 million people in the UK employed across industry and service sectors and was promised by the Labour Party to be delivered in this Parliamentary term in UK law if it wasn't delivered through European Directive.

Unite is also calling for measures that make senior directors of companies personally liable for deaths and serious injuries in their workplace. The union says this is the only way to ensure that companies introduce better health and safety standards.

Derek Simpson, Joint General Secretary of Unite, said:
"Rather than introduce legislation designed to assist employers, we need greater employment protection for workers.

"UK workers are among the least protected in Europe and UK employers the least regulated. Claims being made about the need for labour flexibility to create more jobs are false. Flexibility for employers leads to poorer, not greater, job security for workers."

Tony Woodley, Unite Joint General Secretary, said:

"At a time of unprecedented employment levels in the UK, our members greatest concern is the security of their job.
"Job security, housing and decent pay are still the bread and butter issues that our members need to see action on."

Unite, the UK's largest trade union, is asking the government to prioritise legislation to help and protect workers in tomorrow's Queen's Speech.

Speaking ahead of the announcement of the government's new legislative programme tomorrow, Unite says that equal rights for agency workers, better regulation for employment agencies and plans to act on affordable housing and pensions are paramount if the government is to reconnect with workers.

Although Unite notes the anticipated announcement of Employment Simplification Bill which is likely to deal with a range of workplace issues including better enforcement for the National Minimum Wage and increased powers for the Employment Agencies Inspectorate, it will fall short of the legislation that is required to ensure the equal treatment of temporary and agency workers.

Unite say legislation for temporary and agency workers is key to preventing widespread exploitation and abuse of over 1.4 million people in the UK employed across industry and service sectors and was promised by the Labour Party to be delivered in this Parliamentary term in UK law if it wasn't delivered through European Directive.

Unite is also calling for measures that make senior directors of companies personally liable for deaths and serious injuries in their workplace. The union says this is the only way to ensure that companies introduce better health and safety standards.

Derek Simpson, Joint General Secretary of Unite, said:
"Rather than introduce legislation designed to assist employers, we need greater employment protection for workers.

"UK workers are among the least protected in Europe and UK employers the least regulated. Claims being made about the need for labour flexibility to create more jobs are false. Flexibility for employers leads to poorer, not greater, job security for workers."

Tony Woodley, Unite Joint General Secretary, said:
"At a time of unprecedented employment levels in the UK, our members greatest concern is the security of their job.
"Job security, housing and decent pay are still the bread and butter issues that our members need to see action on."

Contact Information

  • Unite Press Office
    Catherine Bithell or Claire Ainsley
    020 7420 8909 / 07958 473 224 or 020 7611 2550.