Anxious not to appear to be pushing a traditional left-wing agenda, British unions are calling on the Labour party to embrace a proposal for environmental workplace reps to encourage ‘green workplaces’. They further argue for free school meals, flexible workplace leave and lifelong learning in the workplace.
According to the Guardian, unions have “deliberately decided to hold back from demanding traditional workers’ rights, and are instead pushing issues which they hope will have a broad appeal with core Labour voters [...] They fear that if they push an agenda focussing exclusively on improved rights for unions, the main beneficiaries will be the Tories”.
In fact, the Telegraph writes that unions are pushing for “more left-wing policies including increased rights to strike and higher taxes on middle earners”, pressurising a dependent Labour party to “reverse the key labour reforms put in place by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s”.
The Labour Party has difficulties raising funds from wealthy donors as a result of a scandal and doubts about party leader Gordon Brown. Unions are to save the party from bankruptcy, which puts them in a powerful position.
The unions seem to remain loyal to the Labour party. Unite’s Tony Woodley: “We may have words to say about this government about individual disputes, but let us be clear about one thing: the Tories would be an absolute disaster for working men and women”.
Source: the Guardian, the Telegraph