Scotland needs a real new deal for workers

Worker's rights are at the heart of our vision for Scotland.

The Scottish Greens have called for the next UK government to deliver a real new deal for workers, with an end to anti-trade union laws, an end to zero hour contracts, a real living wage for all workers and the devolution of all employment law to Scotland. 

The party’s co-leader, Patrick Harvie, announced the plan this morning, which will be published in the weeks ahead as part of the party’s manifesto. 

Mr Harvie said: “The last 14 years of Tory rule have been disastrous for workers. We have seen a systematic rollback on basic trade union rights at a time when workers need effective representation the most. That is why the Scottish Greens are offering a real new deal with respect, dignity and solidarity at its heart.

“Every worker deserves the security, stability and peace of mind that comes from a real living wage, robust protections and an end to exploitative conditions. This is the very least that should be expected.

“Collective bargaining is a cornerstone of trade unionism, and by expanding the rights and representation of workers we can tackle the appalling levels of poverty and inequality that the Tories have done so much to increase.”

Mr Harvie urged the Scottish Labour Party and SNP to match the offer and build a consensus for effective workers representation and rights.

Mr Harvie added: “Time and again Westminster has shown that it can’t be trusted to protect Scotland’s workers. With full powers over employment law we could do so much more to build an economy that is based on solidarity, equality and need rather than corporate greed.

“We could be weeks away from a Labour government with a big majority but no moral compass. Sir Keir Starmer has gone back on almost every pledge he has made, and we must ensure that workers rights aren’t next.

“I want Scotland to be the best country to work and live in. That is why I hope that the Scottish Labour Party and the SNP can back our clear and ambitious demands and join us in building a fairer and better society for people and planet.”

The Scottish Greens manifesto will include commitments to:

  • Immediately repeal the anti-trade union laws brought in by the Tory government, which limit workers ability to organise and take strike action.

  • Support greater collective bargaining in areas not traditionally well represented, including low-paid sectors where women form a large part of the workforce such as the care sector.

  • Remove the two-year qualifying period for protection against unfair dismissal and introduce stronger protections against termination of employment.

  • Ban zero-hours contracts and bogus self-employment arrangements that effectively allow businesses to dodge tax and responsibilities to their staff.

  • Create a duty of care for employers to ensure their staff can travel safely to and from work, which is particularly an issue in the night time economy.

  • Raise the minimum wage to establish a real living wage, and ensure it is effectively pegged against inflation to prevent erosion of its value over time. We would also scrap the current age bands for the minimum wage, ensuring all workers receive a living wage regardless of their age. 

  • Strengthen equal pay regulation and gender pay gap reporting, to further drive down the inequality in pay between men and women.