UK unions hail Labour's election success and urge new deal for workers

UK unions hail Labour's election success and urge new deal for workers
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is greeted by hiis Office Director Karie Murphy as he arrives at Labour Party HQ in Westminster. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Unions in the UK have hailed Labour's election success and said policies must now be brought forward to boost workers' pay and rights.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said the next British government must deliver a "new deal" for workers.

"This election was about bread and butter issues - what needs to change for ordinary working people.

"And no wonder - if current trends continue, in five years time nearly four million people will be in insecure work and the average wage is still £1,200 less than it was in 2008."

She called for policies such as banning zero-hour contracts, increasing the minimum wage and delivering a "long overdue" pay rise for nurses, midwives and all public servants to be implemented.

She added: "It's clear that there is no mandate for a no-deal Brexit. The Government should go back to the drawing board and negotiate a Brexit deal that puts UK jobs, decent wages and workers' rights first."

Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, said: "It looks like young people in particular have been inspired to vote in greater numbers in this election with a number of seats in towns and cities with universities and colleges changing hands.

"This is really encouraging and a vindication of all those who worked so hard to encourage young people to register to vote, and to vote for the first time."

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said: "Millions of voters supported policies that just two years ago were condemned as fringe ideas - re-nationalising the railways, scrapping student debt, building new homes.

"Jeremy Corbyn has shifted the political debate decisively in favour of working class people by working towards what is fair and just.

"It seems that the Tory party's austerity agenda may have had its day."

Tim Roache, general secretary of the GMB union, said: "Despite their election rhetoric, it's the Conservative party that look likely to form a Coalition of Chaos.

"If that is the case, Labour will be a credible, forceful, united opposition that shows the electorate we're a government in waiting."

Dave Ward, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, paid tribute to Mr Corbyn and his team for their "superb" campaign.

He said: "Jeremy Corbyn is delivering a different kind of politics. Unions must now build on this and deliver a different kind of trade union movement."

Public and Commercial Services union leader Mark Serwotka said: "This election has shown there's huge enthusiasm for an alternative to the Conservatives' failed policies of austerity."

Mike Clancy, general secretary of Prospect, said: "It is clear that these results are a rejection of a hard Brexit and austerity at any cost."

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