Backing for agency rights from NW Labour Conference
11th September 2012
CWU picked up strong backing for agency workers' rights at
the North West Labour Party Conference which took place in
Blackpool's Winter Gardens on 8th and 9th September. The
union's proposition on closing loopholes which allow agency
workers to receive less than equal pay received unanimous support
from delegates and key speakers.
The Conference was opened by Blackpool South MP Gordon
Marsden, Labour's Shadow Minister for Further
Education, Skills and Regional Growth. He welcomed delegates to
conference saying: "It's fantastic to be welcoming Labour
Regional Conference to Blackpool for a second consecutive year.
I'm proud visitors and colleagues will be able to see the
revitalised Winter Gardens and tower - along with the new tramway
and headlands - projects funded by the previous Labour Government
and brought to completion by Blackpool's new Labour Council.
"These are tough times. The challenge at this Conference
and beyond is to persuade those who did not vote Labour at the last
General Election to put their trust in us again and demonstrate how
Labour will make a difference."
Sandra Walmsley, CWU Telecoms and Financial Services Executive member, went to the rostrum to move CWU's proposition regarding the rights of agency workers which called for amendments to the UK Agency Regulations to close current loopholes that enable employers and hiring agencies to exploit agency workers. It was seconded by public sector union Unison and was supported unanimously by conference. Read the motion in full.
Andrew Miller MP, who in 2008 promoted a
Private Members' Bill to secure equal treatment for agency
workers, and Ivan Lewis MP, Shadow Secretary of
State for Culture, Media and Sport, both made supportive speeches
from the platform. Andrew singled out the CWU for praise for our
campaign that saw the introduction of agency workers regulations
and for the work the union continues to do in calling for the
loopholes to be closed.
The conference debated a range of important issues, including new Police and Crime Commissioners, the need for greater investment to generate growth, and the dangers of increasing child poverty. Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls was a guest speaker, speaking about both Labour and the Coopertive Parties.
CWU and Simpson Millar Solicitors sponsored the
pre-conference function on Friday evening which was addressed by
Chuka Umunna MP (top left) and CWU general
secretary Billy Hayes (bottom left).
Commenting on the weekend, CWU's North West regional
secretary Carl Webb said: "It's been a
busy and successful event for CWU. We've managed to raise the
profile of problems faced by agency workers on contracts which
effectively exclude them from equal treatment, and we've
strengthened our alliances with both local politicians and other
unions. There are many challenges but we're stronger facing
CWU Delegates to the conference were: Carl Webb, Richard Morgan, Sandra Walmsley, Ian Moran, Derek Maylor, Brian Kenny, Angela Teeling, Steve Donald, Jacqui Stewart, Tony Salt and Tony Monks.