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Jeremy Miles outlines plans to help support workers flourish at work

08 Feb 2024 4 minute read
Jeremy Miles MS

Welsh Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Miles has set out plans to deliver an ambitious package of measures to help support workers flourish at work.

The education minister says he will help support trades unions recruit more members, drive up union recognition and collective bargaining in the private sector, restore funding to the Wales Union Learning Fund, and appoint a minister for work in the Welsh Government.

Mr Miles said that trades unions can help increase the share of Wales’ national income that goes to the workforce, and can improve the quality of working life – particularly those on the lowest wages.

He says that if elected Welsh Labour Leader and First Minister of Wales, he will help unions to increase membership by supporting measures to recruit young members and workers in the gig economy.

To tackle low membership rates in large parts of Wales’ private sector, he is proposing to reward businesses which recognise unions – which will help create a mutually beneficial culture of social partnership across our economy.

He promises to use the Welsh Government’s leverage to develop an economy in which recognising unions and collective bargaining is the norm – by using public spending to drive up trade union access.

Mr Miles says he will restore funding for the Wales Union Learning Fund as soon as possible, and work with social partners to expand the role of union-led learning in skills policy.

He has also committed to expanding Personal Learning Accounts in digital and net zero sectors for reskilling at work, and working with social partners to ensure these opportunities are used in transition agreements.

He’s pledged to appoint a Minister for Work in the Welsh Government, to bring together our cross- government efforts to embed fair work policies across government.

Transformational

Jeremy Miles said: “The Trades Unions established the Labour party to be the voice of working people in Parliament. Since then, Labour governments in the UK and in Wales have introduced transformational policies that have improved workers’ lives for the better. We must now build on the good work we have done so far. And under my leadership, we will do that and go on to do even more.

“Strong trade unions are critical for a healthy economy and a fair labour market. I’m delighted that so many grassroots trade unionists across Wales are backing my campaign to become the next Welsh Labour Leader and First Minister of Wales.

“If I’m elected, I will put the collective might of our party and our government firmly behind measures to encourage more workers to benefit from trade union membership. And by the end of this decade, I want to see a clear step change in the percentage of workers whose pay, terms and conditions are set by collective bargaining in the private and voluntary sectors.

“The government I lead will help unions in Wales to adapt to the challenges and opportunities facing workers in the digital and technological revolution that is upon us – ensuring nobody is held back or left behind as we transition to a new green economy.

“I’m also pleased to endorse the calls by UNISON, GMB, Napo, PCS, and UCU for the devolution of probation and youth justice to the Senedd. But I want to go further. I am committed to seeing the devolution of responsibility for policing, justice, the Crown Estate and administration of benefits devolved to Wales.”

Other priorities include:

  • Embed the Social Partnership Act and use ethical procurement and all other government levers to create more Fair Work in Wales.
  • Encourage flexibility and care by employers for women experiencing menopause.
    Include trade union representation on Welsh Government economic advisory bodies, including the new National Economic Council.
  • Support organising for trade unions at a Wales level, through a Union Reach Fund, with an explicit aim to raise collective bargaining rates in sectors with low union membership, and set targets for collective bargaining reach and union density in both public and private sectors.
  • Engage constructively with unions and others in relation to the recommendations in the Wales TUC report The Future of Work and Devolution in Wales.
    Instigate a review of the Agricultural Advisory Panel, to strengthen its ability to increase wage levels for our lowest paid workers.

Jeremy Miles has received the support of three Labour-affiliated Unions – Aslef, the Musicians’ Union and the National Union of Mineworkers – in his bid to become the next Welsh Labour Leader.


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
15 days ago

What ! Oh no, no, they are not suitable for First Minister…

Will Gething’s slogan be ‘we are in the business of doing business’ I think Richard Pryor said that in Brewster’s Millions…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
15 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

London solicitor teaching contract law to Polish Lawyers and a spell as a consultant to the media and then nip back to Cymru to find a cushti seat in the Senedd, previously a trustee of the Bevan Foundation…so well link-in then…

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
15 days ago

Sounds good. Trade unions should be a vital part of business. Clearly workers need protection and a voice at the decision making table. Companies and organisations work better that way.

Why vote
Why vote
15 days ago

Yes the labour party was backed by the unions from the start, to help rid Wales of the pit masters of old. And now the labour party seem to want to become them, do as you are told or else, this is better for you, if you don’t listen to what we have decided we will enforce it upon you, you will listen or you will suffer financially penalties. We have a vision of how you will live your life. We will enlarge the senedd to make life easier for us in the senedd. And i thaught the people voted… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
15 days ago
Reply to  Why vote

With due respect. A larger Senedd has nothing to do with Labour having an easier time, although I do understand your frustration & pessimism. A struggling institution serves no purpose. Extra Senedd members from 60 to 96 means the cogs of government running smoother enabling proper scrutiny, resulting in better legislation & laws passed.

Last edited 15 days ago by Y Cymro
Y Cymro
Y Cymro
15 days ago

Why isn’t Welsh Labour already doing what Jeremy Miles is suggesting now? They’ve had 25 years in power? Anyway, it’s highly likely if & when he becomes First Minister will take a leaf out of Keir Starmer’s book of lies and damn lies by reneging on promises & pledges made with a plethora of lame excuses. It seems both UK & Welsh Labour’s next manifestos will be written on 2-ply paper, slightly scented and come in packs of 4, 9 & 24. It’s name? Toilet paper. Because that’s where all Labour’s national aspirations & dreams for Wales end up. We… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
15 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

He could borrow Rishi’s disappearing ink pen to write it…

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
14 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Would Rishy even have the strength to lift one up he’s so small. Would be simpler if Miles used Sunak as a pen. As you know, 99.9% of Conservatives are known for being Bics. Oh sorry, silly me. Scrub that. Known for using Bic’s. ✍️

Last edited 14 days ago by Y Cymro
Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
15 days ago

We are getting one of these two guys whatever happens. Without full knowledge of the path ahead (and who has that?), political instinct is all most of us have to go on. Even before (and certainly since) the recent ‘stitch up’, my instincts tell me that Gething is being prepared to be a Starmer yes man so that we can settle into being a long term quiet accepting Unionist partner. Jeremy Miles seems more likely to be the candidate who says ‘here are the votes that made you the Prime Minister Keir. Now don’t take us for granted’. With the… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
15 days ago

The conclusions to my bit of research are as follows; Gething is miles in front…

Hustings very limited geographically…

VG has unions, Senedd and broader support, more popular in the south…

Smiles has Welsh Lords and more constituencies and is more popular in the north and east…

Q…do constituencies have a block vote like unions ?

A lot of double counting, how many members are there ?

The bookies have Gething odds on so I guess that’s it…

May the riderless horse win…

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