Around 13,000 businesses in Wales have benefited from the ERF to date. The Welsh Government estimates this has helped to protect around 100,000 jobs. All recipients signed up to the principles of the Economic Contract, which includes fair work, decarbonisation and workforce skills aims.
The letter to businesses from Ken Skates MS, Minister for Economy Transport and North Wales, stated Welsh Government’s commitment to working with employers, trade unions and others to change people’s working lives for the better so that more people have access to good work and a secure and fair income. As part of this, government supports widening access to trade unions and collective agreements to help realise the ambition of making Wales a Fair Work nation, and expects employers who receive public funds to allow trade unions access and seek a recognition agreement where workers request it.
Wales TUC General Secretary Shavanah Taj said: “We’re really pleased that the Minister has prioritised trade union access in his letter to recipients of the Economic Resilience Fund. This is the Welsh Government’s ‘something for something’ approach in action – if you’re getting public money, then you shouldn’t have any objections to a trade union contacting your workforce. It has the potential to make work fairer for thousands of people across the country.
“We’ve always said that if an employer won’t let a union in, then alarm bells should be going off. It’s a clear sign there’s something not right about their employment practices. Welsh Government’s recognised this and is clear that it expects anyone in receipt of public money to allow their workers to fully realise their full labour and human rights.”
Shavanah Taj added: “This is an opportunity for us to build back better. To reach out to a greater number of workers across Wales including those in hard to reach workplaces such as garment workers, warehouse workers, often on precarious terms and conditions. t's a chance for us to organise the self-employed and freelancers across the arts and creative, music, hairdressing, and beauty industry. The Minister has asked for his letter to be shared with workers and to use the TUC’s ‘union finder’ tool to identify the right trade union for them. The message is simple – if you’re not already in a trade union, join one today to make your workplace fairer for you and your colleagues.”