This General Election will give Scotland the opportunity to vote for the real change that we so desperately need.
There are more than a million people in poverty across Scotland, and wages are still worth less in real terms than they were a decade ago.
Usdaw’s Time for Better Pay survey estimated that there are at least 470,000 working people in Scotland having to borrow money just to pay their essential bills, and more than half of them are struggling with the repayments. One in every ten workers in Scotland is missing meals to pay the bills, and working people are being forced to rely on food banks just to survive.
The number of people on zero hours contracts increased by 10% in Scotland over the last year. Most Usdaw members are regularly working hours that aren’t guaranteed in their contract, so they don’t know how much money will be coming in from one week to the next.
This situation has to change.
Labour has listened to Usdaw’s Time for Better Pay campaign and a Labour Government is committed to implementing the changes that our members have been calling for:
- An end to in-work poverty, giving 700,000 people in Scotland a payrise with a real Living Wage of £10 per hour for all workers aged 16 or over.
- A ban on zero hours contracts.
- A new right to a contract that reflects the hours you normally work.
- The right to a minimum contract of 16 hours average per week, if you want it.
- Stronger trade union rights so that everyone gets a say on their pay and conditions.
Job security is a real worry for Usdaw members across Scotland. The retail sector has been overlooked by the Tory Government in Westminster and the SNP in Holyrood, who have failed to act while job losses and shop closures have hit every community in Scotland. This has a knock-on effect on the distribution and manufacturing jobs that rely on a successful retail sector too.
Labour recognises that retail jobs are real jobs. They have listened to Usdaw’s Save Our Shops campaign and will breathe life back into our high streets with a proper industrial strategy for Scotland’s retail sector.
When the worst happens and your job is put at risk, you need to know that you’ll be treated fairly. The Tories have rolled back employment rights and that needs to be fixed.
Under Labour, workers will have stronger rights when facing redundancy, and protection from unfair dismissal from day one of employment.
Labour will devolve power over employment law to Scotland, whilst ensuring that Scottish employment rights never fall below the UK minimum.
Universal Credit has caused hardship for thousands of people in Scotland. Labour will scrap it, replacing it with a fair system that treats people with dignity and respect.
Too many families are struggling to balance work with the demands of family life. Childcare costs in Scotland have risen by a quarter in the last three years. The SNP’s promised expansion of childcare is behind and there have been warnings that it will not be funded or delivered properly.
A UK Labour Government means real support for families, with a full year of paid maternity leave and double the current amount of paternity leave. Labour’s improved funding for Scotland can be used to move towards the flexible, all-age, year-round, wrap-around childcare that Scottish families need.
Under the Tories and the SNP, our public services are suffering and there is a critical shortage of decent affordable housing. A UK Labour Government will invest £100 billion of extra resources in Scotland across two terms, to transform our communities, housing and public services.
Scotland needs real change, and Labour will deliver it, but to do that there needs to be a Labour Government in Westminster.
A Vote for Labour on 12 December can deliver this and ensure a future that works for Scotland.
Promoted by Paddy Lillis, General Secretary on behalf of Usdaw, 188 Wilmslow Road, Manchester M14 6LJ