David Williams, Labour's PPC for Crewe and Nantwich, addressed Usdaw's North West Conference today. Also on the platform was Steve Carter (pictured).
Steve is number four on Labour's list of Euro candidates and spoke to delegates about the importance of maximising Labour representation in next June's European elections. Many rights for working people come from Europe and we are dependent on our European trading partners for jobs. Steve also warned of the threat from the BNP, particularly in the North West. Only complacency will let the fascists win.
David told delegates that a Tory victory was a major threat to Usdaw members and all workers. The top five threats from the Tories are:
1. National Minimum Wage frozen. If you earn on or close to £5.73 per hour then the next election is about whether you want a pay rise or not. With Labour you get a rise, with the Tories you don't.
2. Tax credits abolished. The Tories will take money aimed at helping work pay from hard working families and low-paid workers. Their tax priorities are to give the families of every multi-millionaire a massive inheritance tax break.
3. Deregulation of shop trading hours. The Tories will attack the family friendly Sunday trading hours, a compromise agreed in 1994 that helps millions of shopworkers balance their home and family life and allows retailers to trade.
4. Attack trade unions' ability to represent workers. The Tories will try to finish the job they started in the 1980s and stop trade unions from standing up for hard working people.
5. Opt out of the social chapter. The Tories are still committed to reversing Labour's basic employment rights. These rights create a level playing and stop rogue employers undercutting good employers. The Tories will end the right to paid holidays, proper breaks at work, equal treatment of part-time, fixed term and agency worker and much more.
We cannot afford for the Tories to drive Britain into a low pay and low skill economy again, as they did in the 1980s.