Govt backs down on worker’s rights.
This is proof that when you really fight something, and galvanise public opinion, you can stop it in its tracks.
Credit to the trade unions, advocacy groups, and Labour team who helped achieve this win. A week ago the government looked all set to undertake a review that would put basic core tenants of worker’s rights in Britain at risk of being slashed and destroyed, Britannia Unchained style. Today, the government is rapidly backing down, and we know why.
The public, especially Tory voters and Brexit voters, want nothing less than diluted standards and protections, they want those things higher (as was promised by senior Tories lying through their teeth during the referendum of course). Labour galvanised that sentiment, and Ed Miliband lacerated Kwasi Kwarteng on this recently.
The result? A partial climbdown. The govt will still try and push this through in some other way under some other guise, and we have to be there ready to fight it tooth and nail once again.
This tells us something crucial; if you draw attention to something like this, it embarrasses the govt and they back off. We have a rightwing Tory government with an 80 seat majority and nothing to loose for the next 3 years or so, and this is pretty much the only mechanism of opposition we have, because we know on these sort of issues, the public is with us, not the Tories.
It remains stunning that the govt was genuinely considering (and still is) repealing those sort of basic rights like sick pay provisions as they currently stand or the 48 hour working work, and it really speaks to the detached nature of members of the government, completely out of touch with reality and so, so out of step with the general public.
It also remains stunning the extent of Labour’s provisions for a better future right now are maybe preserving a 48 hour working week. That’s a comical demand, but that’s where we are, that’s where the opposition is taking its stand, rather than fighting for a 4 day week, or massive expansion of trade union’s powers and worker’s rights.