HACKNEY Labour councillors have come out strongly in support of trade unions as part of #HeartUnions week.

Hackney councillors are celebrating unions because they are vital for workers everywhere. Visit http://findyourunion.tuc.org.uk to join more than 6million workers who are already members of a union – because together we are stronger.

The TUC says: Working people are stronger when they act together. Unions fight for fairness at work, but we can only do this with stronger rights and more bargaining powers. Stand with us this #HeartUnions week – join a union.


By working together, you can win big


London Mayor Sadiq Khan also gave his support to the importance of trade unions:


“THIS pandemic has clearly demonstrated the importance, and enduring relevance, of trade unions – from the way they have fought for sick pay for workers in the gig economy and opposed the disgraceful practice of fire and rehire, to the brilliant job they have done standing up for teachers and our children and making sure workplaces up and down the country are Covid-secure.

There can be no doubt that the conditions and treatment experienced by workers during this terrible period in our history would have been far worse were it not for the tireless efforts of union leaders and representatives. Their actions over this last year have helped to save lives, prevent financial hardship and ensure that working people are treated with dignity and respect.

As mayor of London and a lifelong trade unionist, none of this comes as any surprise to me. Time and again throughout my life, I’ve seen the positive difference trade unions can make on behalf of working men and women. It’s why I know that trade unions will continue to have a vital role to play – not just in helping to protect their members for as long as this crisis lasts, but in building the better, more equal future we all want to see.

A future in which we have a new settlement for our key workers that doesn’t merely pay them lip service, but truly recognises their value to our society and rewards them with fair pay.

This crisis has forced us to step back and reflect on who the key workers really are that keep our country running and our city moving. In addition to our heroic NHS staff and the brave members of our emergency services, it’s clear that our society and economy simply would not have been able to function without our cleaners, care staff, transport workers, teachers, educators, shopworkers, delivery drivers and posties.

That’s one of the many reasons why this week I’m backing HeartUnions – a national campaign organised by the TUC to highlight the good work that unions do every single day to give their members a voice in the workplace. Another reason is because, as the son of a bus driver and as a working-class boy from a south London council estate, the success of the trade union movement will always be a cause close to my heart.

Trade unionism runs in my blood. As a young child, I saw how my dad benefited hugely from being unionised. Unlike my mum, who was a seamstress and wasn’t in a union, my dad received decent pay and good terms and conditions precisely because he was a member of a trade union.

When he was assaulted at work one day, the union also intervened on his behalf to make sure he was given enough time off to properly rest and recover before getting back behind the wheel.

Growing up, such experiences left a deep impression on me. They shaped my view of the trade union movement and convinced me of the indispensable role unions have in our society as advocates for working people.

By organising to represent the interests of millions of working people, trade unions have been a powerful force for social change throughout our history – fighting for fair pay, dignity at work and crucial protections for their members, including vital health and safety legislation. That’s why, since taking office, I’ve been determined to reach out and build a constructive working relationship with them.

In contrast to the previous mayor, who routinely demonised trade union leaders and saw them as a threat to counter, rather than as partners to work with, I’ve made sure that the unions have a seat at the table. I’ve brought back quarterly meetings with the London, East and South East TUC, as well as the transport unions, so we can work through any issues that might arise.”


What about the self-employed?


Our Inquiry into the Future of Self-Employment has highlighted how hard the pandemic has hit self-employed and freelance workers: http://bit.ly/fse-inquiry Write to your MP and ask them to demand a better deal for excluded workers in the Budget

Cllr Sem Moema

Hackney Downs Cllr Sem Moema, tweeted:

Esp. as it’s #HeartUnionsWeek , this report by @ProspectUnion and @CommunityUnion into the future of self-employment is really timely. Across the country, self-employed and freelance workers have been badly hit by #COVID19. Time for @TheUKGovernment to reset the relationship.


12 February 2021

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