TUC Campaign Plan 2015
This is the TUC's campaign aims for 2015 under the new government. It comprises of new priorities under the existing five strands of jobs, pay, services, equality and union organising.
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NEW CHALLENGES, CHANGING PRIORITIES
An introduction by Frances O'Grady
The new majority Conservative government is intent on implementing a divisive manifesto that will hurt working families, damage our economy and make inequality even worse.
While the TUC is always ready to engage with the country’s elected government and press the interests of people at work, undoubtedly we face tough challenges. With jobs, services, union organisation and even the democratic rights of union members under threat, we will need to campaign as never before.
The UK’s slow and hesitant recovery has failed to reach many people and has left the wider economic challenges we face unaddressed. Tax giveaways at the top with deep public service spending cuts for the rest will not deliver the stronger, fairer growth we need.
A million more jobs – many of them unionised – are planned to go across the public sector. Too many of them will be replaced by insecure zero-hours jobs with few prospects.
A toxic mix of extreme cuts, privatisation and sell-offs risks ripping the heart out of the public sector, with special dangers for our NHS.
Shrinking the state is bad for the private sector too. A failure to invest for the future in education and skills, social housing, science and UK infrastructure will hit the prosperity of everyone.
Deep cuts to welfare can only be achieved by hitting the vulnerable and slashing the help that millions of low paid workers need to make ends meet – the very blue collar hard workers Conservatives claim to champion.
Conservative proposals to change the laws governing trades unions shift the balance of power even further against working people, making legal strikes much harder and undermining civil liberties into the bargain. Attacks on trade unions – the only independent democratic organisations representing working people – show this government’s true colours. After the longest fall in living standards since Queen Victoria was on the throne, they are determined to weaken workers’ bargaining power and strip us of our best chance of improving pay and security at work.
The task that trade unions face is to build our strength in workplaces and reach out to communities. We need to win new allies and maximise pressure on the government to resist their worst proposals. We need to show that migrant workers are not to blame for low pay and lousy jobs; exploitation is. But opposition is never enough.
We need to construct a movement for a positive alternative based on an end to austerity economics. We must set out practical plans for improving investment, productivity and living standards to deliver stronger, fairer growth. We must show how the best performing economies are built on a fair society, great public services and decent rights for all.
That is no easy challenge. We will need new thinking, new tactics and new approaches. But the solidarity and shared values upon which the trade union movement is built hold true and our ranks are resilient. That gives us a strong foundation on which to win - not just for our members but for our wider communities too.
TUC General Secretary
Issued: 14 September, 2015