I've listened to Labour Party strategists.
They will tell you that "People don't care about employment rights". Logic follows that this is something the party should not be talking about or having policies on.
They have facts and data to back this up. When voters are asked about what they care about, people say ECONOMY, NHS, EDUCATION, IMMIGRATION etc. Typically, around 3% of voters will mention employment rights or employment law.
How can it be then that that the overwhelming majority of British voters wan't zero-hour contracts to be banned?
I helped organise a dispute at an Argos warehouse. Agency workers are getting £3 per hour less than the permanent workers for doing the same job. Both sets of workers walked off the job for a lunch-time protest together. I'd say those workers cared a lot about "employment rights".
Yet if I had asked them "Do you care about employment rights?", I'd guess that less than 5% of them would say they did!!
But pollsters are not industrial people. Neither, sadly, are Labour Party strategists. They don't ask questions that I might ask. The phrase "employment rights" is not something ordinary people use.
Here are 10 questions pollsters & politicians never ask:
"Should two people doing the same job should have the same hourly rate of pay?"
"Should you have free access to a Tribunal if you are unfairly sacked or bullied?"
"Should a Union have access to your workplace to speak to you?"
"Should workplace pensions be sufficient to sustain you in old age?"
"Is it right that the gap between CEO and worker gets bigger every year?"
"Does a company have a responsibility to share some of it's profits with it's workers?"
"Does it worry you that firms too often have reorganisations / redundancy exercises?"
"Do you agree there should be a maximum legal temperature workers should be expected to put up with?"
"Do you agree that weekend work should be paid at a premium rate?"
"Does it worry you that company sick pay is becoming a thing of the past?"
Labour needs to start asking these questions, and many more!
Most people spend the majority of waking hours at work.
It is plain nonsense for Labour to have kidded itself that work isn't something people feel passionate about.
It is, and it always will be.
This simple observation explains why Unions are timeless, have been around for centuries, and are not going to go away!!
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