7 Jun 2007

Why Trade Unionists should vote for Peter Hain as Deputy Leader

This is an extract from RECONNECT TO WIN produced by Peter Hain

Peter says;

“The Labour Party was born out of the trade union movement, and our link with the unions and our shared values provide a vital connection to millions of working people. For me, the union link is non-negotiable.”

Retaining the role of unions at the heart of the Labour Party. Keeping the 50 percent union share of votes on policy issues at annual conference, unlike other declared deputy leadership candidates who have publicly proposed reducing the union vote. Implementing the terms of the Warwick agreement, and building on it as a blueprint for future partnership, reaffirming our commitment to proper protection for pension funds and doing much more to protect the rights of temporary and agency workers. Building on the 2.5 million extra jobs created since Labour took office by prioritising economic stability, and protecting workers by working closely with unions. Continuing investment in public services and a programme of improvement underpinned by Labour values. Ensuring that the vital new employment rights we have enacted are a reality in every workplace in Britain – establishing a new Employment Rights’ Commission with tough new powers and proper resources to enforce the rights that workers already have and to investigate breaches e.g.. giving unions the legal power to bring collective action against a workplace where there is a failure to pay the minimum wage, rather than placing the responsibility on an individual. Ensuring new laws on corporate manslaughter are toughly enforced, and reviewing the role of private equity funds in company takeovers. Allowing unions to free up resources for campaigning by removing the costly, ritual and unnecessary mandatory ballots to renew union political funds, and replacing it with a trigger ballot of say 5 per cent of the membership if there was dissatisfaction with an established fund. Introducing the choice of individual secret ballots in either workplaces or homes in elections for union Executives and General Secretaries to encourage turnout. Reconnecting the leadership of the party in government with MPs, members, and trade unions. Ensuring we reach out to those people Labour has lost touch with, helping to rebuild that crucial progressive coalition, which won us two landslide victories, but which we lost last time. Real renewal, which builds upon the best of our achievements, but offers a radical vision for the future, which can bring voters back to Labour. Narrowing the inequality gap by meeting our commitments on child poverty, offering more help for low-paid workers, boosting skills levels, tackling the gender pay gap, and pushing for greater corporate social responsibility. Pushing more power down to individuals and local communities by strengthening local government and accountable neighbourhood democracy, and completing the process of democratic renewal. Placing a new ‘Redgreen’ politics at the heart of government, to both tackle climate change and ensure that the responsibility of meeting it is fairly shared. Pursing a progressive foreign policy with strengthened and reformed international institutions, further action to make poverty history, an enhanced role in Europe, and promoting democracy and human rights worldwide. Real partnership with trade unions based on proper dialogue and negotiation, not government by bouncing policies.


A unifier, who brings people together as he demonstrated in negotiating the dramatic breakthrough in Northern Ireland, and who can reconnect the government with Labour’s grassroots.

A principled campaigner with values and vision will help win back the 4 million voters lost by Labour since 1997.

Commitment to the party and trade unions which enables himto reach out to all parts of the party andmovement to bind them back together.

A straight talker with the skills to communicate tomembers and the country.

A teamplayer, but who is independently-minded and will stand up for socialist values.

A minister with ten years of extensive government and Cabinet experience.

A lifelong record of campaigning from his anti apartheid and anti-racist activism, to his tireless work for Labour candidates and trade unionists, there’s nobody better to inspire party members about the power of politics.

Why Peter is the best person for the job
“I want a strong partnership between our Labour government and the trade unions, with problems resolved by dialogue and respect. The role of the Deputy Leader is vital to achieving this.”

Taken from literature promoted by Phil Woolas MP, on behalf of Peter Hain MP, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.

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