PRESS RELEASE: Bakers Union Leader urges Ed Miliband to end “light-touch austerity” and produce polices that appeal to core voters.
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Ronnie Draper, General Secretary of the Bakers Food Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) made the comments on the second day of the Labour Party-affiliated union’s annual conference in Southport.
Mr Draper said he had a message for Mr Miliband who has a “hell of a job” to win the general election next year.
He said: “We’re not asking for the earth. It is not about being radically left wing. We want a living wage, an end to zero hours contracts unless a worker genuinely wants one, end the dependency on food banks by feeding people properly and repeal of the anti-trade union laws.
“My message to Ed Miliband; make a commitment to build a substantial amount of new houses- that’s a vote winner, promise to keep the NHS free at the point of need – that’s a vote winner.
“And promise to take back our postal service into public ownership – that is a vote winner.”
Turning his attention to industrial relations law, Mr Draper said the UK was the easiest place to sack a worker in the western world.
The recent changes to Employment Tribunals which have seen costs for each tribunal jump to £1,600 and a right to claim unfair dismissal doubled to two years.
He added: “This country is condemned by the International Labour Organisation year on year because we are outside the international norms of industrial relations.
“This government have taken away access to justice. Somebody in McDonalds who is on minimum wage, how can they afford £250 just to register for a hearing, never mind go to a full tribunal?
“It is a scandal.”
The union has been at the forefront of a global campaign for Fast Food Workers Rights which calls for a living wage http://fastfoodrights.wordpress.com/
For further information, contact: BFAWU leader Ronnie Draper 07812739350 // Ronnie.Draper@bfawu.org // @ronniebfawu
To arrange interviews with Ronnie, union President Ian Hodson or union activists during conference, contact John Millington – 07931316547 // firstname.lastname@example.org // @johnjournalist
Notes to editors
• The BFAWU represents over 20,000 workers in food, baking and allied services industries across the UK and Northern Ireland.
• It is an affiliate to the UK Labour Party.
• The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU) is a trade union of workers in the food industry. It was founded in 1847, in Manchester, by a group of Journeymen Bakers.