Mick Lynch: “We must have a full fat, undiluted workers’ deal”

Will Neill

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch called for the Labour Party to stop rowing back on elements of its new deal for workers, demanding a “full fat, undiluted workers deal” at a LabourList fringe event on Monday. 

Lynch was speaking alongside Labour shadow minister for employment rights Justin Madders MP, PCS President Fran Heathcote, FBU general secretary Matt Wrack, barrister and chair of the Institute of Employment Rights Lord Hendy KC, TUC  assistant general secretary Kate Bell, in a panel led by general secretary of the UCU Jo Grady. 

Lynch called for “sector-wide bargaining” in the NHS and in every sector, saying “that’s what they have in Europe, it goes into every work place, whether they are the mainstream organised company or not”. 

Lynch’s intervention comes when Labour has been accused of watering down pledges from its proposed new deal for workers. There has been speculation that Labour will roll back on its promise to create a single category of “worker” for all those who are not self-employed.

Lord Hendy agreed with Lynch, saying that Labour cannot afford to water down workers rights and miss this opportunity. “We are not going to be content with just the soup and the pudding, we want the full three course meal,” argued Lord Hendy. 

Madders defend Labour’s policies on workers’ rights, saying that young people in particular “have a lot to gain from this new deal for working people”. Madders said that a Labour government ‘Real Living Wage’ will ensure that everyone over the age of 18 will be paid the same for their work.

Madders also said a Labour government would address “the outrage of short notice shift cancellation”, saying: “There is absolutely no reason the can’t be dealt with.” 

Wrack suggested that Labour’s promise to repeal anti-trade union legislate could be an opportunity to push for the of expansion union membership across the country. He said the Conservatives are “cynically and deliberately and without any mandate attacking the rights of the workers”, concluding that “the one measure that could really level up society is to free our unions and allow us to organise our workers”.

Bell agreed with Wrack, saying that the new deal for workers is a “once in a generation opportunity to turn this around”, following the “longest pay squeeze in 200 years”. 


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