Building on the first of his big policies for workers, Richard Leonard has released the full details of his Workers’ Manifesto. The manifesto includes measures which would improve workers’ rights and pay - ensuring that they work in healthy, safe workplaces and address longstanding inequalities and injustice.
On announcing his Workers’ Manifesto, Scottish Labour leadership contender, Richard Leonard said;
“The people who create our country’s wealth, should have a fairer share of the wealth they create.
“My over-riding mission is to abolish poverty. That means the reinstatement of full and fulfilling employment as a goal of public policy. It means we need to invest in our people, our communities, industries and public services and sharing the wealth of our country more equally.
“In-work wages are too low with nearly half a million people in Scotland earning less than the living wage, meaning too many people do not have the means to lead fulfilling and happy lives. And we know that there is a profound gender inequality at the heart of this with twice as many women as men earning less than the living wage.
“This is simply unacceptable in a country that is one of the wealthiest in the world.
“People in Scotland are desperate for hope. They are desperate to be treated better and more fairly at work. People want to liberate themselves from feeling powerless in their workplaces. They want an economy that works for the many, and not just a privileged few at the top. And as Scottish Labour leader, I would deliver the real change which is so urgently needed.”
The Workers’ Manifesto includes the following measure, but please see the document attached for the full details:
- Make Full Employment a central goal of public policy once more
- Have a values-led public procurement strategy, which only awards public contracts to organisations that meet minimum standards with respect to corporate social responsibility. These standards include no zero-hour contracts; no blacklisters; commitments to create quality apprenticeship; to tackle occupational segregation; recognise trade unions; assess pay ratios of the average worker and senior management; and are fair tax mark accredited businesses
- Give the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority the same powers to arrest in Scotland as in the rest of the UK
- Review pay ratios in the public sector as well as through procurement to ensure the same applies to companies bidding for public contracts, with a view to reducing pay differentials between workers and senior management
- In light of Brexit we need to review the funding and operation of the Health & Safety Executive and consider the case for a Scottish HSE
- Whatever the formation of a future HSE I will promote a right of workplace access and inspection for trade union health & safety representatives, especially in those particularly dangerous industries such as oil & gas, agriculture and construction
- I will work with groups such as the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights to further their excellent work to eliminate racial discrimination and promote racial justice across Scotland.
- I will work with national and local disability organisations to ensure better access into work, training and apprenticeships
- I will change the 2007 Corporate Homicide Act and deliver legislation that gives the families of victims a genuine possibility of justice through prosecutions ensuring that the law serves as a deterrent to corner cutting and risky practices from employers