The leaders of the Labour 7, Civil Society 7, Women’s 7 and Youth 7 have written to the prime minister today (Tuesday) to call on the UK government to use its G7 presidency to put “decent jobs at the heart of the economic recovery”.
The groups, who are formally responsible for engagement with the G7 on behalf of their sectors, have warned the prime minister not to repeat the mistakes made after the financial crisis in 2008, which saw “long term unemployment, especially among young people, the rise of insecure jobs, and no action to tackle gender and racial inequality.”
In an implicit criticism of the lack of action from the UK government, they added “this isn't the time for leadership in name only”.
The UK government has come under pressure for its reserved approach to the G7 presidency so far, particularly compared to other G7 nations like the US. Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary, said the government was “guilty of inaction and complacency” with its presidency.
In the letter, the group calls on the prime minister to “match the most ambitious proposals in the G7” and “set out concrete and co-ordinated plans to deliver better jobs in a move away from insecure and non-standard work.”
Recent TUC polling, conducted by GQR, reveals support across the board to tackle the scourge of insecure work. More than eight in ten (84 per cent) working people support giving all workers the same basic rights, and over half (54 per cent) believe zero hours contracts should be banned.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“Everyone deserves a decent, secure job they can raise a family and build a life on. But for too many here in the UK and around the world, in countries rich and poor, decent work is a distant prospect.
“Next week’s G7 is an opportunity to set the world on the right path for recovery.
“But we need to see more ambition from the world’s richest nations. The UK government is guilty of inaction and complacency with its G7 presidency so far.
“This pandemic has to be a turning point – we have a once in a generation opportunity to end the scourge of insecure work.
“It’s time for the UK government to lead by example and deliver an economy with decent work, green jobs and fair pay at its heart.”
The TUC, along with other G7 unions, wrote to Liz Truss last month to call on the UK government to use its G7 presidency to help Covid-stricken countries with their vaccine supply by backing a patent waiver.
The full letter reads:
Dear Prime Minister,
We are writing as Leaders of the Civil Society 7, Labour 7, Women’s 7 and Youth 7 to call on the UK to use its leadership of G7 to put decent jobs at the heart of the economic recovery.
We can't repeat the mistakes after the financial crisis which saw long term unemployment, especially among young people, the rise of insecure jobs, and no action to tackle gender and racial inequality. We must not scar the employment prospects of a generation. This isn't the time for leadership in name only: an era defining crisis requires era defining leadership.
The G7 leaders must seize the moment to set out how they will promote decent jobs through public investment in climate and care infrastructure, as part of a Just Transition to Net Zero - with a promise to make sure these jobs pay decent wages, contribute to mentally healthy and fulfilling lives, and have decent terms and conditions including social dialogue.
We must match the most ambitious proposals in the G7 and set out concrete and co-ordinated plans to deliver better jobs in a move away from insecure and non-standard work, including in the platform economy. And we must show how these plans will tackle gender and racial inequalities and provide support to the young people hit hardest by the crisis, in the G7 and internationally.
We look forward to working with you to achieve these ambitions.
Frances O'Grady, Labour 7
Jessica Woodroffe, Women's 7
Simon Starling, Civil Society 7
Sophie Daud, Youth 7
- GQR Research conducted an online poll of 2,523 respondents aged 16+ in work in Great Britain, between 29th January and 16th February, 2021. Data are weighted to be representative of the national population. For more information about GQR please visit: https://www.gqrr.com/
- The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together the 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.
TUC press office
020 7467 1248
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