Brexit will hurt low-paid workers. Unions must fully back remain

Source: www.theguardian.com --- Friday, December 07, 2018
Scapegoating EU workers does nothing to solve labour exploitation. Only improved employment rights can do that Alex is a white, English, low-paid worker. In fact, not only is he low-paid, but until recently he was being denied even the most basic employment rights, such as paid holiday and a pension. A pushbike courier in the Doctor’s Laboratory ’s in-house courier department, Alex works alongside another hundred or so pushbike, motorbike and van couriers. A large proportion of these workers are Brazilians, able to live and work in the UK by virtue of dual citizenship with EU countries. After various unfruitful attempts at improving his working conditions on his own, he turned to the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) , a trade union founded by Latin American cleaners. With the Union’s help, Alex and his colleagues went on to unionise the majority of the company’s couriers, and brought a court case that resulted in the company recognising couriers as limb (b) workers and thus entitled to basic workers’ rights; won a collective bargaining deal to negotiate pay, terms and conditions; and are party to a backdated holiday claim worth over £1m . Their fight for better pay continues as part of an ongoing union campaign . Related: John McDonnell rejects union warning over second referendum Related: May’s Brexit deal quietly gambles with our rights at work | Jason Moyer-Lee Continue reading... ...

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