‘We are the masters now’ say Tories and employers

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THE TORY-led coalition is poised to give all power to the employing class through neutering employment tribunals and giving the employers their own ‘charter’ under which they will be able to sack workers with up to two years’ service without fear of being taken to a tribunal.

This will allegedly allow them to sack ‘slackers’ i.e. those workers who cannot keep to the work pace that employers want to set, and also to get rid of ‘troublemakers’, that is workers who show any tendency to stand up for their rights.

Further, employees will face having to pay a fee of £500 when they lodge a claim at an employment tribunal.

This is supposedly to reduce the number of ‘vexatious allegations’, when, as every worker knows, every employer considers that all allegations that are made about his or her working practices are ‘vexatious’.

Small employers are also to see themselves excluded from the more stringent employment laws including the length of time that they have to pay workers statutory sick pay.

Britain is to become a slave labour economy, where wages are held down, where the workers are prevented from complaining about their treatment, and where the bosses can make big profits from their super-exploitation.

Coalition leader Cameron said yesterday: ‘Across a whole range of areas you’re going to see the most pro-business, pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda ever unleashed by a government.’

In total, 19 major employers attended a summit with Cameron, among them Balfour Beatty, Centrica, Jaguar, Land Rover and Marks and Spencer, to hear how the Tories and Lib Dems plan to restore the employers to being the masters over the working class.

Downing Street said the Prime Minister was talking to employers about ‘what more the Government can do to enable employers to get Britain working again’.

Ministers are due to contrast this ‘employers’ charter’ with the European-led social charter introduced by Labour which gave workers some rights.

Whitehall was over the moon yesterday saying: ‘The thrust of the initiative is that to persuade companies to hire people we need to make it easier to fire those workers who aren’t up to the job, so there is less risk in taking on new people, especially the young.’

This master plan to restore the mastery of the employer is to be announced after the Oldham and Saddleworth by-election on Thursday.

Yesterday the TUC commented on the Tory-Lib Dem plan.

The feeble TUC leadership ‘urged ministers to stand firm in the face of employer tribunal lobbying’.

In fact, cabinet ministers are leading the charge to impose the ‘employers charter’.

The ridiculously puerile TUC statement added: ‘In recent weeks, employer groups have been lobbying hard for ministers to change the tribunal system, but the TUC says that rather than complaining about the cost of cases and supposedly vexatious claims, employers should be working harder at treating their staff well, improving their employment practices, and ensuring they stay within the law.’

The TUC is ‘concerned’ at the plans to make people pay a fee of up to £500 before they can go to a tribunal with TUC general secretary Barber insisting: ‘While employer groups complain that tribunals are costing them too much, they seem to have lost sight of the fact that if firms treated their staff as they are meant to, few would ever find themselves taken to court.

‘Instead of a focus on the employment tribunal process, ministers’ time would be better spent looking at why so many companies, especially small employers, have such poor employment practices.’

Further: ‘The government should stand firm in the face of the intense employer lobbying seen in recent weeks . . .’

Instead of trying to pretend that the Tory and Lib Dem leaders are neutral and appealing to their better natures, the TUC should be organising action to sink this attempt to float the ‘employers charter’.

The only conclusion that workers will draw from the pathetic pleading of the TUC leaders is that they must be removed at once, and a new leadership put in place that will bring down the coalition with a general strike.