Greens have unanimously backed proposals to stand against the Conservatives’ Trade Union Act and to give Trade Unions new rights to access workplaces, at their Autumn Conference in Birmingham.
The proposals, put forward by the Green Party Trade Union Group (GPTU), aim to combat increasing exploitation of workers. They come after efforts by outgoing Leader Natalie Bennett and new co-Leader Jonathan Bartley to draw attention to abuses of workers at firms such as Deliveroo.
The first successful proposal pledges to join in direct action against the Trade Union Act as it comes into force, a move first called for by Green Party MP and co-Leader Caroline Lucas, whilst the second calls for a new statutory right of access for Trade Unions to enter unorganised workplaces and speak to workers.
Kieron Merrett, the Green Party’s Trade Union Liaison Officer, said:
“In the Green Party, we know that the best way to stop abuse and exploitation in the workplace is to enable workers to get organised in Trade Unions, so they can make their own claims and campaign for their own improvements in pay and conditions.
“But legislation in the UK is infamously restrictive, making it harder for Trade Unions to access the most vulnerable workers. That’s why the Green Party has pledged to join in direct action against the Trade Union Act as it comes into force, and to call for new rights for Trade Union representatives to access workplaces and organise the most vulnerable workers.
“The Green Party has confirmed that, to promote equality and protect workers, we need to support the Trade Union Movement and enable it to do what it does best.”
Clare Keogh, Co-Chair of the Green Party Trade Union Group, said:
“Many workers are now employed in new types of workplaces without any history of unionisation – particularly young workers and migrants. It’s no coincidence that these are the workplaces where the worst abuses are taking place.
“To put a stop to this, legislation and government action simply aren’t enough – workers must be organised in Trade Unions. It’s much more difficult to undo unionisation in the workplace than it is to repeal legislation in Parliament.
“I’m delighted that the Green Party has given unanimous support to our proposals. Not only do Greens fully support the Trade Union movement, but there are also many active Trade Unionists in our party. We are the party for working people!”