Issue date
03 Apr 2019
Wales TUC’s plans for a Fair Work Wales were launched at the Senedd yesterday to an audience of members of the Welsh Assembly, including First Minister Mark Drakeford.

The trade union organisation set out how raising collective bargaining coverage – the process through which workers have a say on their pay, terms and conditions – is key to making work fairer and better in Wales.

Currently, around a third of workers in Wales have their pay set through a collective agreement between their union and their employer. Wales TUC wants to see this rise significantly

Ministers and AMs also heard Shavanah Taj, President of Wales TUC, and Martin Mansfield, General Secretary, calling for the introduction of a Social Partnership Act in Wales.

The Act will build on social partnership arrangements already in place between unions, employers and the Welsh Government, to deliver fairer policy solutions to the challenges facing our economy and public services.

Wales TUC believes these actions are central to making Wales a Fair Work Nation – where workers’ voices are heard – and address inequalities like the gender pay gap.

Martin Mansfield said:

“We’re campaigning to make Wales a Fair Work Nation – where workers get a better deal. Low pay, insecure work and inequality damages our communities. Add this to the possible impact of Brexit, automation and Universal Credit and we face a very uncertain future. We need action now – we need to make work fairer and our labour market more resilient.

“Unions are already achieving this for their members – they negotiate higher pay for their members, more training opportunities and greater security.

“This is why we’re calling for a Social Partnership Act to drive a culture change in our economy, where workers’ collective voice is balanced against that of their employer.”

On the ambition to rapidly increase collective bargaining coverage, he added:

“Collective bargaining remains the best way to bring about change in the workplace. Both sides are around the table able to feed in their views and agree the best possible deal.

“Unions in Wales not only use collective bargaining arrangements to drive up pay. They secure agreements over things like inclusive learning opportunities and equalities. For example, the latest pay deal for the Welsh NHS included an all-Wales menopause policy because union members had identified a need for this and negotiated it through.

“We want more workers to access Fair Work like this, and put an end to state support for employers that refuse unions access and don’t listen to their workforce.”

Editors note

ENDS

Notes

Wales Trade Union Congress (TUC) is the voice of Wales at work, representing around 400,000 workers across 48 affiliated unions.

More information on Wales TUC’s Fair Work Campaign can be found at https://www.tuc.org.uk/making-wales-fair-work-nation

Wales TUC’s briefing on Making Wales a Fair Work Nation takes place at the Senedd on 3 April 2019 at 12.30-13.30, sponsored by Mick Antoniw AM. For more information please contact Ceri Williams on cwilliams@tuc.org.uk 07795 844 728.