Tuesday 3 December 2019 / 12:01 AM Jeremy Corbyn / Workers' Rights

Labour names and shames bad bosses who have “exploited, ripped off and dehumanised” workers

Labour has named and shamed five of the UK’s worst employers who the party says have “exploited, ripped off and dehumanised” workers.

The party is pledging to take on these and other bad employers and guarantee everyone decent pay, security and dignity at work. Labour’s work manifesto, published today, sets out how Labour will deliver the biggest extension of workers’ rights the UK has ever seen.

Britain’s worst offenders include Amazon, where in the last year ambulances were called to an Amazon warehouse once every two days; Sports Direct, where employees have reported being promised permanent contracts in exchange for sexual favours; and Asda, where employees were forced to sign new contracts meaning they were no longer to be paid for any breaks and be forced to work bank holidays and weekends or face the sack.

Labour will take on bad bosses with the biggest expansion in workers’ rights the UK has ever seen.

Labour will:

  • End bogus self-employment so that employers cannot evade workers’ rights;
  • Ban zero-hour contracts and strengthen the law so that those who work regular hours for more than 12 weeks will have a right to a regular contract, reflecting those hours;
  • End poverty pay by immediately introducing a Real Living Wage of £10 an hour for all workers;
  • Require breaks during shifts to be paid;
  • Set up a Royal Commission to bring health (including mental health) and safety legislation up to date;
  • Repeal anti-trade union legislation, including the Conservatives’ undemocratic Trade Union Act 2016;
  • Create a Workers Protection Agency with powers to inspect workplaces and bring prosecutions and civil proceedings on workers’ behalf;
  • Give everyone full and equal rights from day one at work, whether part-time or full-time, temporary or permanent and ending the qualifying period for basic rights;
  • Require employers to create and maintain workplaces free from harassment, including by third parties.

Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, said:

“The Conservatives are on the side of bad bosses who have exploited, ripped off and dehumanised workers.

“We’ll call time on insecure and unsafe work that leaves people without the rights and dignity they deserve. We’ll call time on discrimination in the workplace that leaves women vulnerable to harassment and unequal pay. And we’ll call time on the running down of workers’ rights to organise collectively to boost their pay and improve their working conditions.

“It’s workers who are the real wealth creators. Labour will be on your side.”

Laura Pidcock, Labour’s Shadow Employment Rights Secretary, said:

“So many people’s working lives are dominated by low pay, insecurity and powerlessness. It is a sign of a broken system that many people are forced to top up their monthly wage with debt, just to cover their living costs.

“People spend so much of their time at work and that time should not be characterised by worry and fear. As a government, we will be on the side of the worker, the good employer and the trade unionist, while taking on the bad bosses.

“Labour’s transformative programme for workers would give them power, respect and dignity, while changing the culture of work in this nation. By breathing hope into workplaces across Britain, we can achieve real change.”