UNISON Cymru Wales has warmly welcomed the First Minister’s pledge to legislate to make the country a ‘fair work nation’ in his statement to the Senedd this afternoon (Tuesday).
The trade union, which represents 100,000 workers in Wales, said the livelihoods of thousands and thousands of low paid, particularly female workers, will be transformed if collective bargaining in the public sector is extended as promised by Mark Drakeford AM.
The First Minister has been giving his government’s official response to the recent report from the Fair Work Commission ‘Fair Work Wales’. UNISON said it is clear Mr Drakeford grasps how in-work poverty and zero hour contracts are blighting lives and stunting people’s prospects across Wales.
Tanya Palmer, UNISON Cymru Wales acting regional secretary said,
“Mark Drakeford’s statement is exactly the kind of bold, exciting announcement you want to hear from a politician: he wants to improve the lives of low paid workers and he’s going to do something about it.
“Thousands of carers, cleaners and many more and their families stand to benefit from better and fairer workplaces if trade unions are able to negotiate on an all-Wales basis on their behalf.
“The First Minister has listened to trade unions who are worried about the explosion of insecure work and the increase in in-work poverty as salaries have not kept pace with living costs. People might be exhausted from a full week’s work yet their pay is so low they can’t afford food for their family and the bills. That’s not the modern Wales we want to live in.
“The Welsh Government’s emphasis on social partnership, involving trade unions and giving people a stronger voice at work is very encouraging. UNISON knows, extending collective bargaining across Wales means it will make it more difficult for bad employers bidding for public contracts to undercut decent employers.”
Notes to editors
Social partnership guarantees the voice of workers at the highest level of government. Employers, government and trade unions meet as equal partners to decide government policy as it relates to the world of work.
Alastair Gittins, UNISON press officer 07816 53 83 97
Photo credit: Natasha Hirst