I spent a while yesterday immersing myself in Parliamentary procedure, in an attempt to explain what was going on with the ‘ping pong’ of shares for rights (or, as the Government call it, ‘employee-owner contracts’) being batted between the Commons and the Lords.
Unfortunately, within hours, it was pretty much game over on that particular ping pong match, as the House of Lords capitulated, and voted shares for rights through.
Now, the Growth and Infrastructure Bill just has to head to the Commons one more time (don’t forget that in-built Tory / Lib Dem majority), then it’s on a fast track to the Queen for Royal Assent.
So, what happened?
It looks like the Government’s ‘concessions’ were enough to buy off many of the Lords who had voted against shares for rights on two previous occasions. Labour peers voted NO yesterday, but by themselves they don’t have enough votes to win – and many of the renegade Lib Dems (and even some very renegade Tories) and Crossbenchers (independent Lords) deserted them last night.
Last time the Lords voted, they had a majority of 68 against shares for rights. This time, there was a majority of 107 in favour. You can see the names here (the ‘Contents’ are those who supported the amendment to scrap shares for rights – the ‘Not Contents’ are those who support shares for rights, and so vote against the amendment to scrap it!).
Letting the cat out of the bag
And do you remember the big debate about whether shares for rights is voluntary or not? The Government keep claiming it is, and everybody else says it’s not very voluntary if a job is only advertised on a shares for rights basis…. Well, they let the cat out of the bag last night.
A Labour Peer tabled a probing amendment (that means it’s not meant to be voted on, but is designed to get an issued discussed), saying that employers should not be allowed to advertise new jobs solely on an Employer-Owner contract. Lord Lea of Crondall, who introduced the amendment, said:
“…if they [employers] then say that the only jobs available for that warehouse, or that factory, are employee shareholder jobs, that is saying that those prospective employees can either have a job and give up their rights against unfair dismissal or redundancy, or not have a job at all. That is not offering options.”
He was followed by Lord Morris of Handsworth (you might know him better as Bill Morris!), who said:
“Here is a very simple example. A job is advertised by an employer who is currently operating an employee shareholder scheme. It is my view that, without this Motion, there is no duty, no guidance to the employer not to discriminate in favour of a shareholder preferred option.”
And then the Tories responded.
Viscount Younger of Leckie, Conservative Business Minister in the Lords made it clear just how ‘voluntary’ this scheme will be:
“It should be up to employers to recruit as they see fit. If a company wants to recruit an employee shareholder, as companies already do with employees and workers, it should be able to do so in its own way. Taking the argument further, if an employer wishes to post a notice for, or advertise, an employee shareholder position, they should be free to place this as one role, just as they would be able to do in an advertisement for any other role.”
Then, just in case there was any doubt about whose side the Tories are on, he added:
“…we must ensure that we do not tie the hands of employers.”
So what were these great concessions that bought off so many people who had previously stood against shares for rights?
1. A seven day ‘cooling off period’ before signing up (not much use if the job is only being advertised on a shares for rights basis!).
2. Written notice of workplace rights lost and shareholder rights gained (obviously this is an improvement on not getting written notice, but were the Government seriously suggesting that people give up their rights at work and enter a new employment relationship as a shareholder without having the right to it all in writing?!).
3. Independent Financial Advice, paid for by the employer (again – not much use if the job is only advertised on an employee-owner basis!).
Lord Adonis summed up the situation neatly in the Lords, saying:
“There have been some safeguards and the Bill is somewhat less objectionable, but the reality is that this shares-for-rights proposal is still fundamentally flawed and fundamentally wrong. It is not the details that are wrong; like the poll tax, the basic idea is wrong. The idea that fundamental employment rights granted by Parliament to ensure that employees are treated fairly can or should be traded for shares, let alone shares worth as little as £2,000, is fundamentally objectionable. We are talking about basic employment rights which, as the noble Lord, Lord Forsyth, pointed out in our deliberations, have been granted by Governments, including Conservative Governments, over recent decades: the right to redundancy pay; the right not to be dismissed unfairly; the right to request flexible working in order to look after dependants; and the right to request training.”
I want to pay credit to the Labour Lords, to Ian Murray MP (Labour’s Shadow Employment Rights Minister) and not least to all of our campaigners who have fought hard against this sell off of our rights at work.
Our campaigning has meant the Government has not had it easy. They’ve been under real scrutiny over this issue, and have been forced to make some small concession that might at least protect the least vulnerable – for example, they’ve clarified that nobody on unemployment benefit can face penalties for refusing to take a shares for rights job.
It remains to be seen what the impact of this back-of-an-envelope scheme will be. The Government’s own research showed that the vast majority of businesses have no interest in it whatsoever – but that’s not the point. Some employers will go for this scheme, will advertise jobs on a shares for rights only basis, and desperate job seekers (in an economy with not enough jobs to go round) will opt to swap their rights for shares, rather than stay out of work.
But more than that, this scheme has sent a message about rights at work from the Government to all of us – their message is that basic, fundamental rights that we have fought for over decades (like not being sacked at will, the right to redundancy pay, the right to request training or flexible working to care for family) are no longer universal. They aren’t something that all employees should be able to expect and rely on. They are something that can be negotiated downwards, or bought off entirely, in exchange for shares that might be worth nothing in the long run.
Millions and millions of people go out to work every day, and each and every one of them should be able to expect simple things like job security, a fair wage for the job and decent, safe working conditions.
This Government doesn’t understand that. It sees working people as a commodity, fair pay as a burden, job security as red tape and healthy and safe workplaces as an "albatross around the neck of British businesses" (Cameron’s own words).
So it might be game over for the time being on shares for rights - but game on in the fight against this Government.
Today is the 4th day in a week that members of the Houses of Parliament will be voting on shares for rights (aka selling off our rights at work).
Parliamentary process is sometimes shrouded in mystery, so I just wanted to give a short update as to where we are in the process, and go into some of the ‘concessions’ the Government has made.
What’s happened so far?
Back in March, the House of Lords voted to remove the section on ‘shares for rights’ from the Growth and Infrastructure Bill (in the Bill it’s called Section 25 - ‘Employee owners’).
As the Bill had then passed its major stages in both the Commons and the Lords, it has entered a phase called ‘Ping Pong’ (no word of a lie, it is actually called that). This means that the Bill as a whole has been generally approved by both the Lords and the Commons, but they have disagreements over certain specific amendments. Those amendments literally bounce (hence the ping pong) from one House to the other, with MPs and Lords voting on them in turn.
So, last week (Tuesday 16th) was Ping Pong Day 1 – MPs considered the fact that the Lords had removed ‘shares for rights’, and then voted to bung it all back into the Bill (you can read our blog on the debate and vote here).
We bounced into Ping Pong Day 2 on Monday, with the House of Lords voting yet again to scrap ‘shares for rights’ and remove it from the Bill. The debate is here, and it’s worth noting that the amendment was won with a majority of 69 – an increase on the first time they rejected it. Senior Tories and Lib Dems even voted against the Government on it.
Ping Pong Day 3 was yesterday (it’s speeding up now), and MPs voted yet again to re-insert ‘shares for rights’ and send it right back to the Lords. Again, the debate is here. The Government won the vote 265 to 221 – more on that debate later.
And so now it’s Ping Pong Day 4 – later, the Lords will debate and vote yet again, and we will see if they can maintain their opposition for the third time.
The fact that this debate is going on, and the House of Lords is kicking up such a fuss, is in no small part down to the hard work of all our campaigners in piling the pressure on our MPs and in the media. We'll keep you up to speed on the process as it moves on from here.
We heard an awful lot yesterday about these ‘concessions’ the Government is offering to try and win support in the Lords. It turns out they are offering two things to try to get a deal.
- A seven day ‘cooling off’ period from an employee being offered a ‘shares for rights’ deal to them being able to accept it.
- Written information about the workplace rights you are losing, and the shareholder rights you are gaining.
On the second point – seriously, how is this a concession? Before this, were people to give up their rights at work and become shareholders without getting this information in writing?! And let’s not kid ourselves that it being in writing means that it will be easy for people to understand what they’re getting and what they’re being asked to give up.
On the first point, I’ll leave it to Ian Murray MP, Labour’s Shadow Employment Rights Minister, to go into how meaningless that cooling off period could be. This is what he said in the Commons yesterday:
“Let me go through some of the concessions that have been presented to the House today. First, there is a provision that the employee cannot accept the offer within seven days of it being made. How that would work in practice is completely unclear. An employer remains free to refuse to offer the job to a prospective employee who does not want to take up employee shareholder status. That is a critical point about whether it is voluntary. With the employment market as depressed as it is, why would an employee want to turn this down? People are desperate to get back into work. That is why the proposal cannot be seen as voluntary. Why would an employer not just say that this has to be accepted or the job offer will be withdrawn? Perhaps the job will be offered to a number of candidates, and the candidate who accepts the shares for rights proposal will ultimately get it……”
So, is it voluntary?
Well, is it? The Government say so. And so do Tory and Lib Dem MPs in their replies to our campaigners. Well, I guess it depends what you mean by voluntary.
Will employers be able to force existing employees to take up the scheme and swap their rights for shares? No.
Will employers be able to turn down any new employee who’s not willing to sign up for a ‘shares for rights’ Employee-Owner contract? Yes.
Unemployment is up. There are over 2.5 million people looking for work. And there are simply not enough jobs to go round. You’ve been looking for work for months. You’re offered an Employee-Owner contract – is it really a choice whether to accept? That’s not what I call voluntary.
What happens next?
Well, it depends how the House of Lords votes tonight. If they ping it back again, then this whole process could go on and on until one House gives in, or until sufficient concessions are offered to convince the Lords. At that point, ‘ping pong’ could speed up dramatically, and the Bill could literally bounce between the Houses several times in the same day. If the House of Lords vote to accept this nebulous so-called ‘concessions’ then unfortunately it’s Game Over. Ping Pong Day #4 is tonight – watch this space.
A few more words from Ian Murray MP on just why this ‘shares for rights’ scheme needs to be scrapped:
“What are the Government trying to achieve in that measure? Is it that employees will give up their right to protection against unfair dismissal so that they can be given some shares that their employer will tell them are worth a certain value, but they have no idea whether that is right? When they get the shares, will they have to pay tax and national insurance on them if their value is more than £2,000? Then, at the end, employers, if they decide to sack them, can take the shares back at a valuation that might be less. It does not seem to be a scheme that will set the nation alight with people wishing to participate in it.
UPDATE - 3pm
The Labour Lords team have helpfully released this document, which shows what will be debated tonight. It's worth reading the section that is meant to clear up what rights people are losing and gaining. If the wording of the Bill is anything to go by (anyone know what a drag-along or tag-along right is?), it'll make it about as clear as mud.
There's also a new amendment in the Lords, that accepts 'shares for rights' and the Commons' concessions, and adds that employees should get independent financial advice on the swap in advance (paid for by the company). This amendment is being put forward by Baroness Hanham (Conservative Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government), so presumably this is a new, third concession by the Government. As yesterday we remain #unimpressed.
Labour Peer Lord Lea has also tabled a new amendment (in the event that the Government win the vote in the Lords this time) that states that no new job vacancies can be created which are solely advertised on a 'shares for rights' contract.
Lords will first have the option to vote to remove 'shares for rights' from the Bill in its entirety.
Whatever concessions are being made, thia policy remains a terrible idea. Employees don't want to sell their rights, and good employers wouldn't want to buy them. It's another madcap scheme from a Government that's desperately trying to look like it's doing something to undo the damage austerity has caused to jobs and the economy - and a Government that's ideologically obsessed with attacking what they see as 'red tape' and bureaucracy, but that we call the basic rights at work and job security that we all rely on.
The debate starts around 5pm. We suggest following the Labour Lords on twitter for the latest.
Thousands of our campaigners had emailed their MPs about this important issue, and we were waiting to see what MPs would do. But the vote never came.
Hundreds of thousands of low-paid rural workers could see their pay and conditions undermined if the AWB is abolished. Yet last week, the Government cast it off without our elected representatives getting a say.
They made the amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill in the House of Lords and then, when it came back to the House of Commons, they put the debate on the AWB so low on the agenda that it simply never happened.
No vote, no debate, no democracy.
We’ve just found out that tomorrow Labour MPs are forcing the Government to debate and vote on this important issue.
This time, our MPs will vote. Will you email your MP now?
The Agricultural Wages Board has existed since the First World War, to end rural poverty, and to provide protection for workers who live in precarious communities, where pay is low and the cost of living often high.
Scrapping the AWB will make pay and conditions worse for these workers, and create a race to the bottom in the industry – with farmers undercutting wages, as supermarkets pile on the pressure to cut production costs.
The government’s own figures estimate that farm workers will lose more than £258 million over 10 years in lost pay, sick pay and holiday entitlement. Millions of pounds will be taken away from rural families, communities, shops, businesses, and services.
It is an outrage that the Government forced this through without our elected representatives having a say. Email your MP to make sure they know you want them to vote to save the Agricultural Wages Board, and protect rural wages:
Together, we can send our MPs a clear message that we want them to debate the AWB, discuss the AWB, and then vote to save the AWB.
Spread the word
Click on our TWEET IT button to tweet at your twitter followers.
Click on our FACEBOOK IT button to be whisked to the unionstogether Facebook page, where you can click 'share' under our 'protect rural wages' graphic, and post it on your wall for your friends to see.
So, the results are in from the ‘shares for rights’ vote yesterday.
We’ve crunched the numbers for you, so you can see how your MP voted, and how many from each Party voted for and against.
There’s more detail below, but although we did not win this vote (don’t forget, the Tory-led Coalition has a built-in majority in the House of Commons) we did see 3 Lib Dems rebel, and all the smaller Parties in the House of Commons vote against this ‘shares for rights’ plan. That’s a testament to the hard work campaigners put in to lobbying their MPs to vote against this foolish plan.
There wasn’t a long debate, as MPs had many House of Lords amendments to discuss (they didn’t even get a debate or a vote on the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board), but this excerpt shows that the case against ‘shares for rights’ was made strongly:
Mr Chuka Umunna (Streatham) (Lab):
What on earth are employees to think if suddenly, out of nowhere, their employer says, “Will you give up all your fundamental rights in this workplace if I give you some shares?” What signal will that send to the employee? [Interruption.] The hon. Member for Skipton and Ripon (Julian Smith) says from a sedentary position that it is voluntary, but what does that say about one’s relationship with an employer if they are talking about taking away fundamental rights at work? As Justin King, CEO of Sainsbury’s and until recently a member of the Prime Minister’s business advisory group, said, what will the population at large think of businesses that want to trade employment rights for money?...
My final and principal objection to the proposal is this: last November, I put it to the Business Secretary in this House that an employer in his Twickenham constituency would, under these arrangements, be able to make acceptance of job offers conditional on people agreeing to accept employee owner status. He denied that that was the case, yet patently the arrangements allow for it. The risk in the current jobs market of people being pressurised, or feeling under pressure, to take jobs with this type of status will be increased.
The Growth and Infrastructure Bill will Ping Pong (it's actually called that) back to the House of Lords on Monday. Labour Peers will try to remove the 'shares for rights' section again. They won the vote last time, with lots of support from other Parties. There's no guarantee they'll be able to win another vote, as the Coalition has a majority in the House of Lords as well. If they do win a vote, and remove 'shares for rights', then it'll Ping Pong right back to the House of Commons for another vote.
In the meantime, why not hop over to facebook and share our special campaign 'ad', showing 'shares for rights' is the bargain of the century - for your boss, that is!
277 of our MPs voted YES to ‘shares for rights’.
239 MPs voted NO.
Of the 277 MPs who voted to allow our rights at work to be sold off (the ‘ayes’), there were:
41 LIBERAL DEMOCRATS.
There were also 2 ‘tellers’ for the ‘ayes’ (people who help count the votes – if someone is a teller for the ‘ayes’ or the ‘noes’ it can be assumed that’s how they’re voting, though their numbers aren’t included in the tally) – these were 1 CONSERVATIVE and 1 LIBERAL DEMOCRAT.
Of the 239 MPs who voted against ‘shares for rights’ (the ‘noes’), this is the Party breakdown:
4 DEMOCRATIC UNIONIST
3 LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
3 PLAID CYMRU
plus 2 LABOUR TELLERS
How did your MP vote?
The ‘ayes’ voted FOR ‘shares for rights’, and the ‘noes’ voted AGAINST. If your MP isn’t on the list, it means they abstained, or weren’t voting for some other reason (in a meeting, on Maternity or Paternity leave etc).
Adams, Nigel (Conservative), Selby and Ainsty
Aldous, Peter (Conservative), Waveney
Andrew, Stuart (Conservative), Pudsey
Arbuthnot, James (Conservative), North East Hampshire
Bacon, Richard (Conservative), South Norfolk
Baker, Norman (Liberal Democrat), Lewes
Baker, Steve (Conservative), Wycombe
Baldry, Tony (Conservative), Banbury
Baldwin, Harriett (Conservative), West Worcestershire
Barclay, Stephen (Conservative), North East Cambridgeshire
Barker, Gregory (Conservative), Bexhill and Battle
Baron, John (Conservative), Basildon and Billericay
Bebb, Guto (Conservative), Aberconwy
Beith, Alan (Liberal Democrat), Berwick-upon-Tweed
Beresford, Paul (Conservative), Mole Valley
Berry, Jake (Conservative), Rossendale and Darwen
Bingham, Andrew (Conservative), High Peak
Birtwistle, Gordon (Liberal Democrat), Burnley
Blackman, Bob (Conservative), Harrow East
Boles, Nick (Conservative), Grantham and Stamford
Bottomley, Peter (Conservative), Worthing West
Bradley, Karen (Conservative), Staffordshire Moorlands
Brake, Tom (Liberal Democrat), Carshalton and Wallington
Bray, Angie (Conservative), Ealing Central and Acton
Brazier, Julian (Conservative), Canterbury
Bridgen, Andrew (Conservative), North West Leicestershire
Brine, Steve (Conservative), Winchester
Brokenshire, James (Conservative), Old Bexley and Sidcup
Bruce, Fiona (Conservative), Congleton
Bruce, Malcolm (Liberal Democrat), Gordon
Buckland, Robert (Conservative), South Swindon
Burley, Aidan (Conservative), Cannock Chase
Burns, Conor (Conservative), Bournemouth West
Burns, Simon (Conservative), Chelmsford
Burrowes, David (Conservative), Enfield, Southgate
Burstow, Paul (Liberal Democrat), Sutton and Cheam
Burt, Lorely (Liberal Democrat), Solihull
Byles, Dan (Conservative), North Warwickshire
Cable, Vince (Liberal Democrat), Twickenham
Cairns, Alun (Conservative), Vale of Glamorgan
Campbell, Menzies (Liberal Democrat), North East Fife
Carmichael, Alistair (Liberal Democrat), Orkney and Shetland
Carmichael, Neil (Conservative), Stroud
Carswell, Douglas (Conservative), Clacton
Cash, William (Conservative), Stone
Chishti, Rehman (Conservative), Gillingham and Rainham
Chope, Christopher (Conservative), Christchurch
Clappison, James (Conservative), Hertsmere
Clark, Greg (Conservative), Tunbridge Wells
Clarke, Kenneth (Conservative), Rushcliffe
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey (Conservative), The Cotswolds
Coffey, Thérèse (Conservative), Suffolk Coastal
Collins, Damian (Conservative), Folkestone and Hythe
Colvile, Oliver (Conservative), Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport
Crabb, Stephen (Conservative), Preseli Pembrokeshire
Crouch, Tracey (Conservative), Chatham and Aylesford
Davey, Edward (Liberal Democrat), Kingston and Surbiton
Davies, David T. C. (Conservative), Monmouth
Davies, Glyn (Conservative), Montgomeryshire
de Bois, Nick (Conservative), Enfield North
Dinenage, Caroline (Conservative), Gosport
Djanogly, Jonathan (Conservative), Huntingdon
Dorries, Nadine (Independent), Mid Bedfordshire
Doyle-Price, Jackie (Conservative), Thurrock
Drax, Richard (Conservative), South Dorset
Duddridge, James (Conservative), Rochford and Southend East
Duncan Smith, Iain (Conservative), Chingford and Woodford Green
Dunne, Philip (Conservative), Ludlow
Ellis, Michael (Conservative), Northampton North
Ellison, Jane (Conservative), Battersea
Ellwood, Tobias (Conservative), Bournemouth East
Elphicke, Charlie (Conservative), Dover
Eustice, George (Conservative), Camborne and Redruth
Evennett, David (Conservative), Bexleyheath and Crayford
Fabricant, Michael (Conservative), Lichfield
Fallon, Michael (Conservative), Sevenoaks
Featherstone, Lynne (Liberal Democrat), Hornsey and Wood Green
Foster, Don (Liberal Democrat), Bath
Fox, Liam (Conservative), North Somerset
Freeman, George (Conservative), Mid Norfolk
Freer, Mike (Conservative), Finchley and Golders Green
Fuller, Richard (Conservative), Bedford
Gale, Roger (Conservative), North Thanet
Garnier, Edward (Conservative), Harborough
Garnier, Mark (Conservative), Wyre Forest
Gauke, David (Conservative), South West Hertfordshire
George, Andrew (Liberal Democrat), St Ives
Gibb, Nick (Conservative), Bognor Regis and Littlehampton
Gilbert, Stephen (Liberal Democrat), St Austell and Newquay
Gillan, Cheryl (Conservative), Chesham and Amersham
Glen, John (Conservative), Salisbury
Goldsmith, Zac (Conservative), Richmond Park
Goodwill, Robert (Conservative), Scarborough and Whitby
Gove, Michael (Conservative), Surrey Heath
Grant, Helen (Conservative), Maidstone and The Weald
Gray, James (Conservative), North Wiltshire
Grayling, Chris (Conservative), Epsom and Ewell
Green, Damian (Conservative), Ashford
Greening, Justine (Conservative), Putney
Grieve, Dominic (Conservative), Beaconsfield
Gyimah, Sam (Conservative), East Surrey
Halfon, Robert (Conservative), Harlow
Hammond, Stephen (Conservative), Wimbledon
Hancock, Matthew (Conservative), West Suffolk
Hands, Greg (Conservative), Chelsea and Fulham
Harper, Mark (Conservative), Forest of Dean
Harrington, Richard (Conservative), Watford
Harris, Rebecca (Conservative), Castle Point
Hart, Simon (Conservative), Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire
Harvey, Nick (Liberal Democrat), North Devon
Haselhurst, Alan (Conservative), Saffron Walden
Heald, Oliver (Conservative), North East Hertfordshire
Heath, David (Liberal Democrat), Somerton and Frome
Heaton-Harris, Chris (Conservative), Daventry
Hemming, John (Liberal Democrat), Birmingham, Yardley
Henderson, Gordon (Conservative), Sittingbourne and Sheppey
Hinds, Damian (Conservative), East Hampshire
Hoban, Mark (Conservative), Fareham
Hollingbery, George (Conservative), Meon Valley
Hollobone, Philip (Conservative), Kettering
Howarth, Gerald (Conservative), Aldershot
Howell, John (Conservative), Henley
Hughes, Simon (Liberal Democrat), Bermondsey and Old Southwark
Hunt, Jeremy (Conservative), South West Surrey
Huppert, Julian (Liberal Democrat), Cambridge
Jackson, Stewart (Conservative), Peterborough
James, Margot (Conservative), Stourbridge
Javid, Sajid (Conservative), Bromsgrove
Jenkin, Bernard (Conservative), Harwich and North Essex
Johnson, Joseph (Conservative), Orpington
Jones, Andrew (Conservative), Harrogate and Knaresborough
Jones, Marcus (Conservative), Nuneaton
Kawczynski, Daniel (Conservative), Shrewsbury and Atcham
Kelly, Chris (Conservative), Dudley South
Knight, Greg (Conservative), East Yorkshire
Lamb, Norman (Liberal Democrat), North Norfolk
Lansley, Andrew (Conservative), South Cambridgeshire
Latham, Pauline (Conservative), Mid Derbyshire
Laws, David (Liberal Democrat), Yeovil
Leadsom, Andrea (Conservative), South Northamptonshire
Lee, Jessica (Conservative), Erewash
Lee, Phillip (Conservative), Bracknell
Leech, John (Liberal Democrat), Manchester, Withington
Lefroy, Jeremy (Conservative), Stafford
Leslie, Charlotte (Conservative), Bristol North West
Letwin, Oliver (Conservative), West Dorset
Lewis, Brandon (Conservative), Great Yarmouth
Lewis, Julian (Conservative), New Forest East
Liddell-Grainger, Ian (Conservative), Bridgwater and West Somerset
Lidington, David (Conservative), Aylesbury
Lilley, Peter (Conservative), Hitchin and Harpenden
Lloyd, Stephen (Liberal Democrat), Eastbourne
Lopresti, Jack (Conservative), Filton and Bradley Stoke
Loughton, Tim (Conservative), East Worthing and Shoreham
Luff, Peter (Conservative), Mid Worcestershire
Lumley, Karen (Conservative), Redditch
Main, Anne (Conservative), St Albans
Maude, Francis (Conservative), Horsham
Maynard, Paul (Conservative), Blackpool North and Cleveleys
McCartney, Jason (Conservative), Colne Valley
McCartney, Karl (Conservative), Lincoln
McIntosh, Anne (Conservative), Thirsk and Malton
McPartland, Stephen (Conservative), Stevenage
Menzies, Mark (Conservative), Fylde
Mercer, Patrick (Conservative), Newark
Metcalfe, Stephen (Conservative), South Basildon and East Thurrock
Mills, Nigel (Conservative), Amber Valley
Mitchell, Andrew (Conservative), Sutton Coldfield
Moore, Michael (Liberal Democrat), Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk
Mordaunt, Penny (Conservative), Portsmouth North
Morgan, Nicky (Conservative), Loughborough
Morris, Anne Marie (Conservative), Newton Abbot
Morris, David (Conservative), Morecambe and Lunesdale
Mosley, Stephen (Conservative), City of Chester
Mowat, David (Conservative), Warrington South
Mundell, David (Conservative), Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale
Munt, Tessa (Liberal Democrat), Wells
Murray, Sheryll (Conservative), South East Cornwall
Murrison, Andrew (Conservative), South West Wiltshire
Neill, Robert (Conservative), Bromley and Chislehurst
Newmark, Brooks (Conservative), Braintree
Newton, Sarah (Conservative), Truro and Falmouth
Nokes, Caroline (Conservative), Romsey and Southampton North
Nuttall, David (Conservative), Bury North
Offord, Matthew (Conservative), Hendon
Ollerenshaw, Eric (Conservative), Lancaster and Fleetwood
Opperman, Guy (Conservative), Hexham
Ottaway, Richard (Conservative), Croydon South
Paice, James (Conservative), South East Cambridgeshire
Patel, Priti (Conservative), Witham
Penning, Mike (Conservative), Hemel Hempstead
Penrose, John (Conservative), Weston-super-Mare
Percy, Andrew (Conservative), Brigg and Goole
Phillips, Stephen (Conservative), Sleaford and North Hykeham
Pickles, Eric (Conservative), Brentwood and Ongar
Pincher, Christopher (Conservative), Tamworth
Prisk, Mark (Conservative), Hertford and Stortford
Pritchard, Mark (Conservative), The Wrekin
Raab, Dominic (Conservative), Esher and Walton
Randall, John (Conservative), Uxbridge and South Ruislip
Reckless, Mark (Conservative), Rochester and Strood
Redwood, John (Conservative), Wokingham
Rees-Mogg, Jacob (Conservative), North East Somerset
Reevell, Simon (Conservative), Dewsbury
Reid, Alan (Liberal Democrat), Argyll and Bute
Rifkind, Malcolm (Conservative), Kensington
Robertson, Hugh (Conservative), Faversham and Mid Kent
Robertson, Laurence (Conservative), Tewkesbury
Rogerson, Dan (Liberal Democrat), North Cornwall
Rosindell, Andrew (Conservative), Romford
Russell, Bob (Liberal Democrat), Colchester
Rutley, David (Conservative), Macclesfield
Sandys, Laura (Conservative), South Thanet
Scott, Lee (Conservative), Ilford North
Selous, Andrew (Conservative), South West Bedfordshire
Shapps, Grant (Conservative), Welwyn Hatfield
Sharma, Alok (Conservative), Reading West
Shelbrooke, Alec (Conservative), Elmet and Rothwell
Simpson, Keith (Conservative), Broadland
Skidmore, Chris (Conservative), Kingswood
Smith, Chloe (Conservative), Norwich North
Smith, Henry (Conservative), Crawley
Smith, Julian (Conservative), Skipton and Ripon
Smith, Robert (Liberal Democrat), West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine
Soames, Nicholas (Conservative), Mid Sussex
Soubry, Anna (Conservative), Broxtowe
Spelman, Caroline (Conservative), Meriden
Spencer, Mark (Conservative), Sherwood
Stanley, John (Conservative), Tonbridge and Malling
Stephenson, Andrew (Conservative), Pendle
Stevenson, John (Conservative), Carlisle
Stewart, Bob (Conservative), Beckenham
Stewart, Iain (Conservative), Milton Keynes South
Stewart, Rory (Conservative), Penrith and The Border
Streeter, Gary (Conservative), South West Devon
Stride, Mel (Conservative), Central Devon
Stunell, Andrew (Liberal Democrat), Hazel Grove
Sturdy, Julian (Conservative), York Outer
Swales, Ian (Liberal Democrat), Redcar
Swayne, Desmond (Conservative), New Forest West
Swinson, Jo (Liberal Democrat), East Dunbartonshire
Syms, Robert (Conservative), Poole
Teather, Sarah (Liberal Democrat), Brent Central
Thornton, Mike (Liberal Democrat), Eastleigh
Thurso, John (Liberal Democrat), Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross
Timpson, Edward (Conservative), Crewe and Nantwich
Tomlinson, Justin (Conservative), North Swindon
Tredinnick, David (Conservative), Bosworth
Turner, Andrew (Conservative), Isle of Wight
Tyrie, Andrew (Conservative), Chichester
Uppal, Paul (Conservative), Wolverhampton South West
Vara, Shailesh (Conservative), North West Cambridgeshire
Vickers, Martin (Conservative), Cleethorpes
Villiers, Theresa (Conservative), Chipping Barnet
Walker, Charles (Conservative), Broxbourne
Walker, Robin (Conservative), Worcester
Wallace, Ben (Conservative), Wyre and Preston North
Watkinson, Angela (Conservative), Hornchurch and Upminster
Weatherley, Mike (Conservative), Hove
Webb, Steve (Liberal Democrat), Thornbury and Yate
Wharton, James (Conservative), Stockton South
White, Chris (Conservative), Warwick and Leamington
Whittaker, Craig (Conservative), Calder Valley
Whittingdale, John (Conservative), Maldon
Wiggin, Bill (Conservative), North Herefordshire
Willetts, David (Conservative), Havant
Williams, Mark (Liberal Democrat), Ceredigion
Williams, Roger (Liberal Democrat), Brecon and Radnorshire
Williams, Stephen (Liberal Democrat), Bristol West
Williamson, Gavin (Conservative), South Staffordshire
Wilson, Rob (Conservative), Reading East
Wollaston, Sarah (Conservative), Totnes
Wright, Jeremy (Conservative), Kenilworth and Southam
Wright, Simon (Liberal Democrat), Norwich South
Yeo, Tim (Conservative), South Suffolk
Young, George (Conservative), North West Hampshire
Zahawi, Nadhim (Conservative), Stratford-on-Avon
Tellers for the Ayes:
Hunter, Mark (Liberal Democrat), Cheadle
Milton, Anne (Conservative), Guildford
Abbott, Diane (Labour), Hackney North and Stoke Newington
Abrahams, Debbie (Labour), Oldham East and Saddleworth
Ainsworth, Bob (Labour), Coventry North East
Alexander, Douglas (Labour), Paisley and Renfrewshire South
Alexander, Heidi (Labour), Lewisham East
Ali, Rushanara (Labour), Bethnal Green and Bow
Allen, Graham (Labour), Nottingham North
Anderson, David (Labour), Blaydon
Ashworth, Jonathan (Labour), Leicester South
Austin, Ian (Labour), Dudley North
Bailey, Adrian (Labour (Co-op)), West Bromwich West
Bain, William (Labour), Glasgow North East
Banks, Gordon (Labour), Ochil and South Perthshire
Barron, Kevin (Labour), Rother Valley
Bayley, Hugh (Labour), York Central
Beckett, Margaret (Labour), Derby South
Begg, Anne (Labour), Aberdeen South
Benn, Hilary (Labour), Leeds Central
Benton, Joe (Labour), Bootle
Berger, Luciana (Labour (Co-op)), Liverpool, Wavertree
Betts, Clive (Labour), Sheffield South East
Blackman-Woods, Roberta (Labour), City of Durham
Blomfield, Paul (Labour), Sheffield Central
Blunkett, David (Labour), Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough
Bradshaw, Ben (Labour), Exeter
Brennan, Kevin (Labour), Cardiff West
Brown, Lyn (Labour), West Ham
Brown, Russell (Labour), Dumfries and Galloway
Bryant, Chris (Labour), Rhondda
Buck, Karen (Labour), Westminster North
Burden, Richard (Labour), Birmingham, Northfield
Byrne, Liam (Labour), Birmingham, Hodge Hill
Campbell, Alan (Labour), Tynemouth
Caton, Martin (Labour), Gower
Champion, Sarah (Labour), Rotherham
Chapman, Jenny (Labour), Darlington
Clark, Katy (Labour), North Ayrshire and Arran
Clarke, Tom (Labour), Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill
Clwyd, Ann (Labour), Cynon Valley
Coaker, Vernon (Labour), Gedling
Coffey, Ann (Labour), Stockport
Connarty, Michael (Labour), Linlithgow and East Falkirk
Cooper, Yvette (Labour), Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford
Crausby, David (Labour), Bolton North East
Creagh, Mary (Labour), Wakefield
Creasy, Stella (Labour (Co-op)), Walthamstow
Cruddas, Jon (Labour), Dagenham and Rainham
Cryer, John (Labour), Leyton and Wanstead
Cunningham, Alex (Labour), Stockton North
Cunningham, Jim (Labour), Coventry South
Cunningham, Tony (Labour), Workington
Curran, Margaret (Labour), Glasgow East
Dakin, Nic (Labour), Scunthorpe
Danczuk, Simon (Labour), Rochdale
David, Wayne (Labour), Caerphilly
Davidson, Ian (Labour (Co-op)), Glasgow South West
Davies, Geraint (Labour (Co-op)), Swansea West
De Piero, Gloria (Labour), Ashfield
Denham, John (Labour), Southampton, Itchen
Dobbin, Jim (Labour (Co-op)), Heywood and Middleton
Dobson, Frank (Labour), Holborn and St Pancras
Docherty, Thomas (Labour), Dunfermline and West Fife
Dodds, Nigel (Democratic Unionist), Belfast North
Doran, Frank (Labour), Aberdeen North
Doughty, Stephen (Labour (Co-op)), Cardiff South and Penarth
Dowd, Jim (Labour), Lewisham West and Penge
Doyle, Gemma (Labour (Co-op)), West Dunbartonshire
Dugher, Michael (Labour), Barnsley East
Durkan, Mark (Social Democratic & Labour Party), Foyle
Eagle, Angela (Labour), Wallasey
Eagle, Maria (Labour), Garston and Halewood
Edwards, Jonathan (Plaid Cymru), Carmarthen East and Dinefwr
Efford, Clive (Labour), Eltham
Ellman, Louise (Labour (Co-op)), Liverpool, Riverside
Engel, Natascha (Labour), North East Derbyshire
Esterson, Bill (Labour), Sefton Central
Evans, Chris (Labour (Co-op)), Islwyn
Farrelly, Paul (Labour), Newcastle-under-Lyme
Field, Frank (Labour), Birkenhead
Fitzpatrick, Jim (Labour), Poplar and Limehouse
Flello, Robert (Labour), Stoke-on-Trent South
Flint, Caroline (Labour), Don Valley
Fovargue, Yvonne (Labour), Makerfield
Francis, Hywel (Labour), Aberavon
Galloway, George (Respect), Bradford West
Gapes, Mike (Labour (Co-op)), Ilford South
Gardiner, Barry (Labour), Brent North
Gilmore, Sheila (Labour), Edinburgh East
Glass, Pat (Labour), North West Durham
Glindon, Mary (Labour), North Tyneside
Goodman, Helen (Labour), Bishop Auckland
Greatrex, Tom (Labour (Co-op)), Rutherglen and Hamilton West
Green, Kate (Labour), Stretford and Urmston
Greenwood, Lilian (Labour), Nottingham South
Gwynne, Andrew (Labour), Denton and Reddish
Hain, Peter (Labour), Neath
Hamilton, David (Labour), Midlothian
Hamilton, Fabian (Labour), Leeds North East
Hanson, David (Labour), Delyn
Harris, Tom (Labour), Glasgow South
Havard, Dai (Labour), Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney
Healey, John (Labour), Wentworth and Dearne
Hendrick, Mark (Labour (Co-op)), Preston
Hepburn, Stephen (Labour), Jarrow
Hillier, Meg (Labour (Co-op)), Hackney South and Shoreditch
Hilling, Julie (Labour), Bolton West
Hodge, Margaret (Labour), Barking
Hodgson, Sharon (Labour), Washington and Sunderland West
Hoey, Kate (Labour), Vauxhall
Hood, Jim (Labour), Lanark and Hamilton East
Horwood, Martin (Liberal Democrat), Cheltenham
Hosie, Stewart (Scottish National), Dundee East
Hunt, Tristram (Labour), Stoke-on-Trent Central
Irranca-Davies, Huw (Labour), Ogmore
Jackson, Glenda (Labour), Hampstead and Kilburn
Jamieson, Cathy (Labour (Co-op)), Kilmarnock and Loudoun
Jarvis, Dan (Labour), Barnsley Central
Johnson, Alan (Labour), Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle
Johnson, Diana (Labour), Kingston upon Hull North
Jones, Graham (Labour), Hyndburn
Jones, Helen (Labour), Warrington North
Jones, Kevan (Labour), North Durham
Jones, Susan Elan (Labour), Clwyd South
Joyce, Eric (Independent), Falkirk
Kaufman, Gerald (Labour), Manchester, Gorton
Keeley, Barbara (Labour), Worsley and Eccles South
Kendall, Liz (Labour), Leicester West
Khan, Sadiq (Labour), Tooting
Lammy, David (Labour), Tottenham
Lavery, Ian (Labour), Wansbeck
Lazarowicz, Mark (Labour (Co-op)), Edinburgh North and Leith
Leslie, Chris (Labour (Co-op)), Nottingham East
Lewis, Ivan (Labour), Bury South
Llwyd, Elfyn (Plaid Cymru), Dwyfor Meirionnydd
Long, Naomi (Alliance), Belfast East
Love, Andrew (Labour (Co-op)), Edmonton
Lucas, Caroline (Green), Brighton, Pavilion
Lucas, Ian (Labour), Wrexham
MacNeil, Angus Brendan (Scottish National), Na h-Eileanan an Iar
Mactaggart, Fiona (Labour), Slough
Mahmood, Khalid (Labour), Birmingham, Perry Barr
Mahmood, Shabana (Labour), Birmingham, Ladywood
Malhotra, Seema (Labour (Co-op)), Feltham and Heston
Mann, John (Labour), Bassetlaw
Marsden, Gordon (Labour), Blackpool South
McCabe, Steve (Labour), Birmingham, Selly Oak
McCann, Michael (Labour), East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow
McCarthy, Kerry (Labour), Bristol East
McClymont, Gregg (Labour), Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East
McCrea, William (Democratic Unionist), South Antrim
McDonagh, Siobhain (Labour), Mitcham and Morden
McDonald, Andy (Labour), Middlesbrough
McDonnell, John (Labour), Hayes and Harlington
McFadden, Pat (Labour), Wolverhampton South East
McGovern, Alison (Labour), Wirral South
McGovern, Jim (Labour), Dundee West
McGuire, Anne (Labour), Stirling
McKechin, Ann (Labour), Glasgow North
McKenzie, Iain (Labour), Inverclyde
McKinnell, Catherine (Labour), Newcastle upon Tyne North
Meacher, Michael (Labour), Oldham West and Royton
Mearns, Ian (Labour), Gateshead
Miliband, Edward (Labour), Doncaster North
Miller, Andrew (Labour), Ellesmere Port and Neston
Mitchell, Austin (Labour), Great Grimsby
Moon, Madeleine (Labour), Bridgend
Morden, Jessica (Labour), Newport East
Morrice, Graeme (Labour), Livingston
Morris, Grahame M. (Labour), Easington
Mudie, George (Labour), Leeds East
Mulholland, Greg (Liberal Democrat), Leeds North West
Munn, Meg (Labour (Co-op)), Sheffield, Heeley
Murphy, Jim (Labour), East Renfrewshire
Murphy, Paul (Labour), Torfaen
Murray, Ian (Labour), Edinburgh South
Nandy, Lisa (Labour), Wigan
Nash, Pamela (Labour), Airdrie and Shotts
O'Donnell, Fiona (Labour), East Lothian
Onwurah, Chi (Labour), Newcastle upon Tyne Central
Osborne, Sandra (Labour), Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock
Owen, Albert (Labour), Ynys Môn
Pearce, Teresa (Labour), Erith and Thamesmead
Perkins, Toby (Labour), Chesterfield
Pound, Stephen (Labour), Ealing North
Powell, Lucy (Labour), Manchester Central
Qureshi, Yasmin (Labour), Bolton South East
Raynsford, Nick (Labour), Greenwich and Woolwich
Reed, Jamie (Labour), Copeland
Reed, Steve (Labour), Croydon North
Reynolds, Emma (Labour), Wolverhampton North East
Riordan, Linda (Labour (Co-op)), Halifax
Ritchie, Margaret (Social Democratic & Labour Party), South Down
Robertson, John (Labour), Glasgow North West
Robinson, Geoffrey (Labour), Coventry North West
Rotheram, Steve (Labour), Liverpool, Walton
Roy, Frank (Labour), Motherwell and Wishaw
Roy, Lindsay (Labour), Glenrothes
Ruane, Chris (Labour), Vale of Clwyd
Ruddock, Dame Joan (Labour), Lewisham, Deptford
Sarwar, Anas (Labour), Glasgow Central
Sawford, Andy (Labour (Co-op)), Corby
Seabeck, Alison (Labour), Plymouth, Moor View
Shannon, Jim (Democratic Unionist), Strangford
Sharma, Virendra (Labour), Ealing, Southall
Sheerman, Barry (Labour (Co-op)), Huddersfield
Sheridan, Jim (Labour), Paisley and Renfrewshire North
Shuker, Gavin (Labour (Co-op)), Luton South
Simpson, David (Democratic Unionist), Upper Bann
Slaughter, Andy (Labour), Hammersmith
Smith, Andrew (Labour), Oxford East
Smith, Angela (Labour), Penistone and Stocksbridge
Smith, Nick (Labour), Blaenau Gwent
Smith, Owen (Labour), Pontypridd
Spellar, John (Labour), Warley
Stuart, Gisela (Labour), Birmingham, Edgbaston
Sutcliffe, Gerry (Labour), Bradford South
Tami, Mark (Labour), Alyn and Deeside
Thomas, Gareth (Labour (Co-op)), Harrow West
Thornberry, Emily (Labour), Islington South and Finsbury
Trickett, Jon (Labour), Hemsworth
Twigg, Derek (Labour), Halton
Umunna, Chuka (Labour), Streatham
Vaz, Keith (Labour), Leicester East
Vaz, Valerie (Labour), Walsall South
Walley, Joan (Labour), Stoke-on-Trent North
Ward, David (Liberal Democrat), Bradford East
Watson, Tom (Labour), West Bromwich East
Watts, Dave (Labour), St Helens North
Weir, Mike (Scottish National), Angus
Whitehead, Alan (Labour), Southampton, Test
Williams, Hywel (Plaid Cymru), Arfon
Williamson, Chris (Labour), Derby North
Winnick, David (Labour), Walsall North
Winterton, Rosie (Labour), Doncaster Central
Wishart, Pete (Scottish National), Perth and North Perthshire
Woodcock, John (Labour (Co-op)), Barrow and Furness
Woodward, Shaun (Labour), St Helens South and Whiston
Wright, David (Labour), Telford
Wright, Iain (Labour), Hartlepool
Tellers for the Noes:
Wilson, Phil (Labour), Sedgefield
Blenkinsop, Tom (Labour), Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland
Not in a “they don’t like it up ‘em!” way, more in a “where the hell has all my money gone?” kind of way. It’s in the nature of economics that price rise, and we call that effect inflation. If it didn’t exist we’d all still be paid a penny a day because-we-can’t-work-any-faster.
It’s one of the key reasons that trade unions are so important – they help ensure that wages rise at about the same rate. Even if you don’t have a union, your employer has to keep up or face losing their workforce to better paid jobs… and that’s where the problem starts, because large swathes of the British workforce are no longer in trade unions. Which means that wages rise more slowly… often beneath the rate of inflation.
Straight and simply put, a basic loaf of bread cost 52p in 2000. Nowadays, the same loaf is £1.26. That’s an inflationary rise of 142%. Over the same period, wages have gone up by an average of 40%.
This is why the national minimum wage is so important. It’s a safety net. It makes sure that no-one is trapped in those awful jobs you used to see advertised in the 1990’s “Security Guard wanted. £1.50 an hour. Bring your own dog.”
It’s also an important way of encouraging economic growth. People on low incomes tend not to buy new cars, fridges or other things that factories produce. If you put more money in their pockets, they are more likely to buy things that keep the rest of us in employment, paying taxes, etc. It also stops them wondering how the hell they are going to replace their children’s shoes when they wear out.
It’s why the announcement by Vince Cable that the National Minimum Wage is going up by 12 pence an hour is both economic nonsense and moral cobblers. A 12 pence rise is worth just 1.9%, when inflation is running at around 3%. I’m sure his audience, the Institute of Directors, were very appreciative of his comments. After all, the net result is that they have to pay low paid workers even less but hey, what’s a 1% cut between friends?
Except it’s worse than that. It’s the fourth cut in four years. Every year since the Coalition were elected, they’ve delivered a real terms cut to the National Minimum Wage. In order to maintain its current spending power, it would have needed to increase to £6.39 an hour this year. It’s now worth the same as it was in 2004. How long before it’s worth less than when it was introduced in 1999?
I’d like to say it’ll never happen, but its happened before. A few years back unionstogether ran a campaign to uprate statutory redundancy pay. When that was introduced back in 1965, it was capped at what was then 203% of a week’s wages, seen as fair reward for many years hard work in the same firm. Inflation pushed wages up, but the cap wasn’t pushed up at the same rate. By 2009, statutory redundancy was worth just 56% of a week’s wages. No-one had made a fuss as its value dwindled away. We can’t let the same thing happen to the National Minimum Wage.
I don’t want to be sat in my retirement home, watching my grand-children look at the job adverts that read “Security Guard wanted. National Minimum Wage. Bring your own (robo)dog”.
Inflation. It’s a funny thing.
Today is a busy, busy, busy day in Parliament. MPs are voting to keep or reject lots of House of Lords amendments to two key Bills – the Growth and Infrastructure Bill, and the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill.
There are two KEY ISSUES in these Bills that we are campaigning on – two MASSIVE ATTACKS on our rights at work:
Attack on wages for hundreds of thousands of rural workers
ENTERPRISE & REGULATORY REFORM BILL: Abolishing the Agricultural Wages Board – a body that has guaranteed minimum pay and conditions for thousands of farmworkers for almost a Century.
‘Shares for rights’ – selling off our rights at work
GROWTH & INFRASTRUCTURE BILL: Introducing George Osborne’s daft and offensive plan to let employers force new employees to give up their rights at work (quite important rights, like not getting sacked!) in return for potentially worthless shares in the Company (never before has the phrase ‘the value of shares may go down as well as up’ sounded so ominous!).
Unsurprising, but frustrating news: government win vote on shares for rights 277 to 239. House of Lords will vote again on Monday. We'll let you know next steps!
You can still email your MP to save the Agricultural Wages Board tho.
So, because our MPs are going to be busy, busy, busy – we need to be too!
We have FOUR ACTIONS you can do right now to help stop these attacks on our rights at work. It only takes a couple of minutes to do them, and it’s really important.
Let’s be honest – the Tories and Lib Dems have a big majority. We’re extremely unlikely to win these votes. I know many of our campaigners are reluctant to email their MPs, because say they always vote with the Government anyway. But that’s not the point – even if your MP is David Cameron himself, it’s worth sending that email. And here’s why:
1. We have to make a stand. Our rights at work were hard-won over decades, and we can’t let them be undermined without a fight.
2. If our MPs don’t get emails and phone calls, they think that their constituents don’t care about these issues. That makes them think rights at work are an easy target.
3. Sometimes, just sometimes, we can make a difference. We won a vote in the House of Lords on ‘shares for rights’, largely down to the fact that campaigners like you had piled on the pressure. If we don’t campaign, if we treat it like a lost cause, then it will be.
4. We have to get angry, and we have to spread the word - because we want them to lose the General Election. The only way we’re going to stop this Government in the long term is to make sure they lose the next General Election. One way to do that is to make sure all our friends, colleagues, neighbours and family know what they are doing to the rights that all of us rely on. That means tweeting, facebooking and emailing – but it also means we have to start having those conversations face to face, and try to get more of our networks involved in the campaign to win the next election.
Action 3: PICK UP THE PHONE! Call your MP and ask them to vote NO to shares for rights. 020 7219 3000. Click for ideas for what to say.
Tomorrow is the day our MPs get to have their final say on the Government’s ‘shares for rights’ plan.
Thousands of us have emailed our MPs, to ask them to vote NO tomorrow, and to reject this foolish plan to sell off our rights at work.
But if we really want them to get the message, then we need to keep up the pressure.
Even if you've only just emailed your MP, we need you to pick up the phone and ask your MP to vote NO to this scheme. We need to make sure they have heard your views on ‘shares for rights’ before it is too late.
Will you telephone your MP before the vote, and ask them to vote NO?
Here are some of the reasons why ‘shares for rights’ needs to be stopped tomorrow:
We need to make sure that our MPs have heard all of the arguments about ‘shares for rights’ before they vote.
We’ve set up a really simple web page to help you decide what you want to say to your MP, and to make it easy for you to let us know what they said.
Will you call your MP now?
Don't forget, your MP is paid to represent you and everybody else who lives in your constituency. They won't necessarily vote the way you ask them to, but you have a right to let them know your views.
Even if your MP ALWAYS votes with the Tory-led government, please call them anyway. It's really important that they know people oppose this plan, even if there's little chance of you convincing them.
It’s by piling on the pressure that we were able to defeat this in the House of Lords – let’s keep it up now.
In the last few months, we’ve run campaigns on welfare cuts, threats to the minimum wage, and attack after attack on our rights at work.
We’ve delivered massive 6 foot petitions to Downing Street, we’ve emailed and written to our MPs in our thousands, and we’ve facebooked and tweeted again and again.
However, the fact of the matter is that the Conservative-led coalition has a majority in the House of Commons, and that gives them carte blanche to do what they like. The only way we can stop them is to make sure they’re not the Government after the next General Election.
Next Monday we’re co-hosting an event to see what we can learn from the United States about mobilising trade unionists to influence General Elections, and we’d like you to join us:
Last year, the TSSA trade union sent two Organisers to work alongside the US equivalent of the TUC (the AFL-CIO) in the state of Iowa.They found highly-organised trade unionists, campaigning among their membership, and working to a powerful electoral targeting strategy that made use of the latest online campaigning.
Their work was part of a huge national effort by the labour movement to deliver President Obama's return to the White House.
Here in the UK, we have two years until polling day. If we want to beat the Tories and the Lib Dems, and make sure they don’t have another five years to trample on everything we hold dear, then we need to start getting organised now.
Register here to join us at the TSSA on Monday 15th April at 7pm:
Hope to see you there!
In two years time, there will be a General Election - and every day it's clearer that we need to do everything we can to kick the Tories out.
Next Monday, we're co-hosting an event at the TSSA offices in London, called Lessons from the 2012 US Election: How UK unions can influence the 2015 General Election. To register, click here:
In Autumn 2012, TSSA sent two Community Organisers to work alongside the AFL-CIO (US equivalent of the TUC) in the state of Iowa in the American Mid-West.
What they found were highly organised trade unionists using member to member campaigning, coupled with a powerful electoral targeting strategy and online campaigning, which formed an effective national contribution by the labour movement to President Obama's return to the White House.
With the UK General Election anticipated in just two years, what can we learn from America about how trade unions can engage with communities to get the vote out?
It's free, open to all, and refreshments and nibbles will be provided. Register here:
This weekend, we’ve seen the Government hit some of the country’s most vulnerable families with the Bedroom Tax. Cuts for legal aid have kicked in, making it harder for poor people to get justice. And on Saturday, the Government’s tax cut for millionaires begins – with 13,000 millionaires getting a £100,000 tax cut.
But that’s not enough for this Government. This morning, we’ve found out that they’re coming after the Minimum Wage too. They have ordered the Low Pay Commission to consider freezing, or even cutting, the National Minimum Wage, if the economy doesn’t pick up.
Workers earning the lowest legal wage could be paying the price for this Government’s failed economic policies.
Today, we’ve launched an urgent petition calling on the Government to drop this plan, and promise to protect the minimum wage. Add your name now:
Today’s Telegraph has revealed that the Government are changing the terms of reference for the Low Pay Commission, so they have to formally consider the minimum wage’s impact on “employment and the economy” when deciding what level it should be set at each year.
This Government’s austerity measures are damaging the economy, and are stifling jobs and growth. And now it could be people being paid the lowest possible legal wage who pay the price, by having their pay frozen, or even cut, while prices continue to rise. They’ve already done this for young workers aged 18-20, whose minimum wage was frozen last year.
Back when David Cameron was Leader of the Opposition, there were rumours that a Tory Government would quietly do away with the minimum wage. In 2008, a senior Tory source said:
"The minimum wage won't be scrapped but it will be allowed to wither on the vine. A series of smaller, more affordable increases will mean it will just melt away."
Today, that’s one step closer to coming true.
Sign our petition now, and let’s show how many of us back the minimum wage:View Comments