THE leader of Scotland’s largest trade union body has warned Keir Starmer he “must not U-turn” on Labour plans for a New Deal for Working People.

Speaking ahead of her keynote speech at the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) conference in Dundee on Saturday, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) general secretary Roz Foyer (below) said that trade unionists will “keep the pressure on” the Labour leadership to deliver their New Deal for workers within the first 100 days of government.

The National: Members from various trade unions gather for a pay protest rally at the Buchanan Street steps, Glasgow. Pictured is Roz Foyer, general secretary of the STUC...Photograph by Colin Mearns.26 August 2022.

The New Deal, which is expected to ban zero hours contracts, offer employment rights from day one of work and repeal all the Tory Government “anti-trade union legislation” - such as the Minimum Service Levels Act, which means workers in six key industries are unable to strike under certain circumstances – has come under pressure from the business lobby in recent months seeking to water down the proposals.

For trade unionists, it’s non-negotiable

In her speech to the Usdaw conference, Foyer set out the demands on Scottish Labour leadership to go further on employment rights and devolve employment law to the Scottish Parliament.

The National: Scottish Labour group leader Anas Sarwar said economic growth was at the centre of his party's“After almost 15 years of brutal Tory attacks on our movement, Labour’s New Deal for Working People offers light at the end of the tunnel,” Foyer said.

“It is imperative they stick to their word. This must not be another U-turn or false dawn. For trade unionists and the almost 550,000 workers we represent, the New Deal offered by Labour is non-negotiable.

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“We also need to see Scottish Labour leadership upgrade and enhance this deal and our working rights by seeking the devolution of employment law to the Scottish Parliament.

“As we hurtle towards a general election and, with much luck, kicking the Tories out of power for good, Labour leadership must remain strong. Their commitment to working people cannot be sacrificed at the altar as they seek to enter Number 10.”