Thursday, 14 February 2008

Could a new commission offer agency workers equal treatment?


Please have a look at an article in today's Guardian (link below) that outlines the work of a proposed commission that would establish the way in which temporary and agency workers might accrue the same rights as other employees.

The article argues (I'd welcome your comments on this) that the commission is a method of undermining the second reading of Andrew Miller's Bill on temporary and agency workers (link also below).

A key issue for all trade unionists is to demand that your MP supports the vote for the Bill after the second reading. You can e-mail your MP via a joint TUC-TULO site (link below) and then challenge them if in any way they prevaricate.

Please respond to this post with your view on the likelihood of a commission effectively offering the 90,000+ agency workers currently in the UK equal treatment with others.

Please also keep up the pressure on your MP and your union.



Guardian Article: 14th February 2008

Andrew Miller's Temporary and Agency Workers (Equal Treatment) Bill

Unions Together: TULO Campaign


Alan said...

Ian - thanx for e-mailing the article earlier - i thought you might write a note about this.

I agree with your point - I think Brown will do anything to stop the bill - and what looks mostly like an employers 'commission' is a political way of allowing thousands of agency workers to remain cheap to employ and exploited.

Can all TU reps please put pressure on their MPs please - and find out if your union - like mine (BFAWU) is organising these workers.

Alan Chester

Jaswant said...

Hiya Ian,

Somewhere else I read that Brown could use this issue to break with Blair's position on flexibility - I think that it was always as much a Brown ideology, particularly around a connection with the EU's 'flexicurity' crap.

At least the parliamentary party is putting up some kind of fight.

Like the last comment I urge all activists to put pressure on MPs to vote for the bill and to give those (particularly labour) MPs that don't a real griling on why they are prepared to allow for a 2-tier workforce.

Thanks Ian


PS Will you be doing the AMICUS/UNITE Black Members' Leadership Skills course again?

Graham said...

Dear Jas,

You shouldnt rely too much on the PLP to put up a good showing in relation to Miller's bill.

The party at every level from constituency to parliament cannot stop the dogmatic themes of new labour i.e. reducing democratic accountability, undermining human rights, supporting free markets and - in regard to agency workers and the EU - ensuring freedom for the bosses to hire and fire at will.

Even if we use TULO to hassle labour MPs I bet the Bill won't go forward after the second reading on the 22nd - how much do you want to bet?

Graham Talbot

Val said...


As you know I am trying hard to encourage agency workers to join the GMB where I work in Hull.

The interesting thing I would like to ask for views on is whether we should be doing deals with agencys to try and get people to join a union as soon as they enrol at an agency.

I know this has proved a sore point for some unions, but it might mean that regardless of the agency workers bill, we have a chance to be bargaining on behalf of these workers.


Val K

Jaswant said...


Great to see that the bill went through on the second reading.

I saw that Brown had a meeting with gen secs on Monday - anyone know how it went?


Jenni said...


What's the latest on this - all appears to have gone quiet.

I am assuming that as the bill went through it's on its way to the next stage right?

Be pleased to know as this effects a lot of our members


Jenni (BFAWU)

Peter said...


Can you answer that question please about what's next with the Bill?