Starmer and Rayner launch “new deal for working people” campaign

Sienna Rodgers

Labour leader Keir Starmer and deputy leader Angela Rayner are today launching a “new deal for working people” campaign pledging to “fundamentally change our economy” and “make Britain the best place to work”.

As the party’s Shadow Secretary of State for the Future of Work, Rayner will kick off the initiative with a visit to a social enterprise in London on Monday. She will set out Labour’s vision for post-pandemic Britain, with jobs at the centre.

“We are at a fork in the road, and as we recover from the pandemic we need to take this opportunity to deliver a new deal for working people,” the deputy leader and Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster said.

“Under the Conservatives we have a broken economic model defined by insecure work, low wages and in-work poverty, and a lack of opportunity for people who want to get on and find good work to support themselves and their families.

“Labour’s new deal for working people will fundamentally change our economy to make it work for working people and build a Britain where people in every part of our country can get good quality jobs that are a source of pride, security and dignity and pay a proper wage that people can raise a family on.”

Starmer has promised that Labour would make Britain “the best place to work” after a decade of Tory failure that has seen family incomes stagnating, more than 3.6 million people now in insecure work, and in-work poverty at a record high.

“The pandemic has exposed the fact that millions of workers don’t have the dignity and security they deserve from their job. Labour has fought for workers and supported good businesses during this crisis.

“Now, as we emerge, we need a new deal for working people. My mum was a nurse, and my dad was a toolmaker. So I know full-well the importance of a secure job and a decent wage,” the Labour leader said.

He noted that talk of “the economy” can feel “remote” to people, adding: “But our economy is just the sum total of the work of the British people. If we create good work for everyone, we will all benefit.”

Starmer will be writing a piece exclusively for LabourList on Monday to explain why Labour is launching the new campaign and to set out how the party’s new deal for working people is based on “five principles of good work”.

The five principles that will be promoted by Starmer, Rayner and the rest of the shadow cabinet throughout the summer are as follows:

  1. Security at work – Better and fairer workplaces by giving workers full rights from day one on the job; outlawing fire and rehire; a new right to work flexibly; and strengthened trade unions.
  2. Quality jobs – A strong industrial strategy that uses government contracts to support British businesses so we buy, make and sell more in Britain, delivering investment in high-quality, well-paid green jobs in the industries of the future.
  3. A fairer economy – A fair and level playing field on tax between the multinational giants and local businesses on the high street; and tackling harassment and discrimination at work so everyone can get on.
  4. Opportunity for all – A jobs-promise for young people with a guarantee of quality education, training or employment; and create tens of thousands of apprenticeships by ending the Treasury raid of the apprenticeship levy.
  5. Work that pays – Make sure that work pays paid wages that people can raise a family on with a real living wage of at least £10 an hour; and more workers covered by collectively agreed deals which boost pay.

TUC research unveiled earlier this month found that one in nine UK workers have no pay security or job security. Work has become more insecure for some during Covid, with nearly three-quarters of those on zero-hours contracts losing out on shifts.

The IPPR think tank in May published a report, ‘No Longer Managing’, which stated that working poverty – that experienced in households where one or more people are in work – has been rising under successive governments since 2004.

It identified that rates of working poverty hit a new high of 17% in working households before the pandemic took hold, driven by factors such as spiralling housing costs, a failing social security system and a lack of affordable childcare.

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