It was a privilege to be invited as one of the principal speakers at Parliament last week where the PCS Union and the Trade Union Co-ordinating Group (of which Napo is an affiliate) held a rally against outsourcing.
It was an extremely well attended event and featured trade unionists who are among the lowest paid in their profession and who are bravely engaged in industrial action against exploitative employers such as Interserve and SERCO. The event received a further lift with the presence of Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, and the Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey.
It was an ideal opportunity for them to map out the changes in legislation that they intend to implement when they are in Government, which will mean that any private company seeking public sector contracts will have to go through a series of hoops which will include them recognising trade unions and providing evidence of their track record in meaningful negotiations. That should knock a few out of the game, especially some of the current CRC owners who think its worth hanging around for contracts in Interventions, but it will also mean that unions will have legal rights of access to workplaces and get this, seats on the Board.
I was able to offer Napo’s experiences of the TR Disaster, and the tragic loss of lives that have occurred due to unsafe operational models such as those imposed by the dreadful Working Links before they skulked out of their contract.
Its worth mentioning how impressed politicians and other trade unions are with what Napo has helped to achieve, namely the almost total climbdown from a flagship privatisation programme that, even as recently as last December, we were being told was irreversable.