ANGRY public sector workers are warning Tory MPs in 27 key marginal seats that “there are more of us than your majority”.
The move to put pressure on MPs to lift the 1% public sector pay cap is being spearheaded by Britain’s biggest public sector union Unison reports the Daily Mirror.
And that includes Thurrock MP, Jackie Doyle-Price who has a majority of just 345.
Speaking at the start of the annual Trades Union Congress in Brighton, Dave Prentis, Unison’s general secretary, said the Tory government was out of step with the mood of the mation on public sector pay.
He said: “Over recent months there have been warm words and gratitude for public sector workers, but that won’t pay the bills, buy their children’s school uniform or put petrol in their cars.
“In June there was a vote in the Commons to end the public sector pay cap, and give teaching assistants, hospital porters, care workers and other public servants the real and proper pay rises they all need and deserve.
“The government won by just 14 votes. Had only a handful of Conservative MPs stood with their constituents and voted to end the cap then, the result would have been quite different.
“Unison is determined there won’t be any safe seats for MPs who vote to give themselves above-inflation pay rises.
“These are the same MPs who are happy for their government to carry on denying teaching assistants, nurses and care workers that long overdue and much-needed wage boost.”
Public sector workers go without food and heating as Government’s wages cap plunges them into debt
Mr Prentis, said his 1.3m-strong union was stepping up its campaign to scrap the pay cap with 32,000 members urged to contact marginal Tory MPs as well as demonstrations and industrial action.
Meanwhile, union leaders accused the government of heading towards a “kamikaze” Brexit with a “criminal lack of preparation” for pulling out of the EU.
Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, warned that workers’ rights won over decades by unions were at risk under the Tories in a race to the bottom.
In a scathing attack on the government’s approach to Brexit, she said:”Over the last year, the government’s criminal lack of preparation for March 2019 has become clear. They’ve published no proper assessment about the impact on industries.
“No action plan to protect jobs and rights. And there’s no realistic negotiating strategy. The clock is ticking towards what I can only call a kamikaze Brexit.”
(Image: Daily Mirror)
Hardline Tories demanding a “cliff-edge” Brexit want to sabotage a good deal for working people, who faced a “sweatshop Brexit” falling behind the rights enjoyed by other Europeans, she warned.
“It’s galling to see a government that promised to protect workers’ rights put forward a Bill on EU Withdrawal that’s full of loophokes on workers’ rights after we leave the EU.
“It will give ministers the powers to water them down and let any future government attack them,” she said.
Pay cap will leave the average bobby on the beat £6,000 worse off since Tories came to power
Len McCluskey, leader of Britain’s biggest union Unite, said a squabbling Tory party was in danger of creating a “catastrophe” out of Brexit.
He said: “This is a divided,reckless government, without plan or purpose beyond its own survival and is driving Britain and many of our key industries straight towards the precipice placing tens of thousands of jobs in jeopardy.”
In a strongly-worded statement, the TUC’s general council, stressed that working people must come first and Britain’s unions, representing 5.7m workers, must have a voice in the negotiations.
Dave Prentis of Unison (Image: Daily Mirror)
It states: ”Many leave-backing Conservatives and employers are straining at the leash to attack workers’ rights fought for and won over decades by unions.
“Particularly at risk are equal pay and wide range of many other important equality measures, working time rules, health and seafety regulations, righrts to information and consultation and fairness for part-time, temporary and agency workers.
“Britain’s deal with the EU must include a level playing field for workers’ rights to stop unfair competition and ensure good employers are not undercut by the bad.”
Despite government pormises to protect workers’ rights, the TUC says its actions so far fall short and provides no guarantees to prevent action by future governments.
The union body also says a prosperous UK needs a “tariff-free, barrier-free, frictionless trade” and goods and services with the rest of Europe to protect jobs.
“In short, we need a people’s Europe, not a bosses’ Europe,” it adds.
Asked about rumours the government might lift the pay cap for some public sector workers, such as police and nurses, Ms O’Grady said: ”Public sector pay is not a popularity contest.
“Nurses depend on porters and cleaners, we don’t want any cherry-picking, people want to see pay rises properly-funded.”