LABOUR AND INDUSTRIAL POLICY

PREAMBLE

The Greens take a holistic view of work and of rights – the work covering all the activities people undertake to support themselves, their families, and communities. At the same time, it is important that everyone is able to assert and defend their individual rights and can act collectively with others to assert and defend their common rights and those of their communities. The sustainable industries and small businesses, not-for-profit enterprises, charity or community-based organisations or publically owned can help in this endeavour and adapt to deliver sustainable products respecting the earth’s ecological limits. At the same time, the Greens will endeavour that the ILO conventions are the guidelines for state activity.

VISION

The vision of the Greens is to not allow privatisation or concentration of ownership and control of key industrial sectors that give communities little or no say in decisions which affect them. The vision of the Greens is to allow all people the opportunity to contribute to society through stable and dignified work, caring for each other, and volunteering in their communities even as fighting the injustice of our current economic and industrial systems. In a nutshell, to run businesses in the interests of society, not vice versa.

OBJECTIVE

The objective of the Greens is to revive and rejuvenate traditional and sustainable businesses and industries so that there are more job opportunities for the workers and have an assurance of meaningful employment and a life of dignity and modest comfort.

ACTION

The action plan of the Greens is to promote opportunities for women, men and others to obtain decent and productive work, in conditions of choice, freedom, equality, security and dignity. The Greens Action plan will also place the workers at the centre. The Green Party will facilitate worker autonomy in a political economic model so as to enable workers to act collectively. Therefore, the Greens will –

Dignity and Economic Security

  • Ensure workers are enabled to achieve decent working conditions and fair remuneration
  • Ensure employment laws that guarantee equal access to paid work based on ability and irrespective of gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, marital or civil status, family responsibilities, political affiliation, union membership, disability, sex work history, lawful sexual activity, or religion
  • Ensure that there is the right to meaningful work
  • Ensure that the state provides resources to support the workforce to  be highly trained and well-paid
  • Ensure that the state regulates and monitors workplaces to enforce standards that guarantee workers have the right to work in a safe and harassment-free environment and a workplace free from occupational hazards
  • Work towards a universal 40-hour standard working for five days a week and provide protection against working excessive hours; besides, promote a four-day a week  option for employment

Legal Protection

  • Enact a law to ensure that the workers have the right to pursue their well-being in conditions of freedom and dignity, economic security and equal opportunity
  • Enact a law to ensure that the working people receive full and just remuneration for their work, proportionate to their labour’s value
  • Ensure a minimum wage and minimum age of employment of 18 years
  • Enact a law that ensures equal pay for equal work, irrespective of age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or ethnicity and that there is no pay gap
  • Enact a law to make it an offence to harass or discriminate directly or indirectly against people at work, on grounds of race, sex, family status or responsibilities, disability, sexual orientation, religious belief, age, political opinion or physical appearance
  • Introduce a law to ensure that there is the legal right to at least one month paid holiday in a calendar year, in addition to public holidays
  • Enact a law to fully decriminalise sex work and make anti-discrimination provisions for sex workers
  • Provide legal protection to transgender/intersex people against employment discrimination
  • Introduce a law to ensure that the workers have a right to set up and be a member of a free, independent and democratic union, and to collectively bargain and collectively organise in the workplace to achieving a sustainable and democratic future
  • Enact a law to ensure that the workers have the freedom and  right to take industrial action, including the right to strike and to advance their economic, social, and environmental interests
  • Introduce strong and consistent workplace health and safety laws
  • Introduce a law to guarantee that every employee who loses his/her job due to a company merger or change of ownership or in other circumstances will receive company help to get a job elsewhere
  • Enact and enforce industrial and immigration laws that stop the exploitation of foreign workers

Trade Unions and Tribunals

  • Ensure that every worker has the legal right to be represented by an independent trade union in dealings with their employer and to organise to establish a union if necessary
  • Ensure that all employers, regardless of the number of workers they employ, are legally obliged to recognise unions chosen by their workforce
  • Enact a law to provide independent trade unions with a statutory right of access to workplaces
  • Recognise the achievements of trade unions in protecting and improving their members’ terms and conditions of employment
  • Encourage the involvement of trade unions in workplace democracy
  • Ensure union access to company financial records for bargaining purposes
  • Have a dispute resolution policy in place so that every person has an opportunity to challenge an employer who has wrongly and unfairly refused to employ them
  • Ensue that the organisations do not replace paid employees with volunteers or contractors who undertake the same role
  • Ensure incentives for workplace childcare facilities

Circular Economy

  • Change the nature of industrial sectors, such as from resource extraction to the circular economy
  • Make better use of what we have already got sustainably and move towards a Green society and economy
  • Develop a sustainable zero carbon industrial infrastructure as a basis for a sustainable zero carbon society
  • Use different approaches for different businesses and industrial sectors
  • Reduce the scale of industrial production to live within environmental limits
  • Reduce in scale those industries which are most polluting, resource and energy intensive
  • Take responsibility for the social and environmental impacts of what is produced and also shipped for consumption in the country

Businesses and Corporate Governance

  • Ensure that industrial production is based on social needs rather than the maximisation of profit and ever increasing consumption
  • Support mandatory representation on company boards for elected members of the company workforce
  • Support and incentivise  50% of the board at all companies to be women
  • Ensure appropriate protection to individual workers under the law
  • Ensure incentives for businesses to create ongoing employment positions rather than relying upon precarious forms of employment
  • Support all sustainable businesses, not-for-profit enterprises, charity or community-based organisations or publicly owned companies
  • Adapt industries to deliver sustainable products
  • Ensure that industrial enterprises have strategies that are responsive to community and societal needs, and reflect environmental protection and limits
  • Ensure incentives for employers who provide support facilities at the workplace such as childcare, job-sharing, flexible working, counselling, and family planning
  • Ensure that industrial production is at the scale and locations that use energy and physical resources as efficiently as possible, while maximising benefits to local communities and minimising any harmful effects on the environment

Industrial Relations

  • Make sure that there is a fair and equitable industrial relations system for all workers
  • Ensure that the industrial relations framework and government policies promote full employment and job security
  • Make sure that effective processes of dispute resolution, including conciliation and arbitration before an independent tribunal, are a necessary element in any fair and effective industrial relations system
  • Make sure that rehabilitation of workers is at no charge to the injured and full compensation is paid by the company or if government employee government
  • Ensure that the key purpose of an industrial relations system is to protect the interests of working people
  • Ensure full protection of accrued entitlements of employees
  • Ensure greater protection for casual, fixed-term and probationary workers and employees of small businesses
  • Ensure right to challenge termination of employment 

Local Sustainable Jobs

  • Support job creation in sustainable industries like energy efficiency, waste management, and organic agriculture and horticulture
  • Support small businesses and the community sector to create local jobs and have access to funding to support employing and training people
  • Increase training and mentoring programmes for people considering self-employment or starting a small business
  • Encourage women and people with disabilities into higher-paid areas of employment and assure equal pay conditions

Employment Strategy

  • Develop new green industry areas which will create significant new employment, particularly in small and medium-sized enterprises
  • Produce and maintain a Green industrial strategy that combines a national jobs strategy
  • Create new sustainable livelihoods with new local developments, in a way that leads to an overall reduction in environmental impact
  • Guarantee alternative employment and/or training for all workers affected by the transition with no loss of wages

Discrimination

  • Ensure that employers do not discriminate against union members
  • Ensure that the workers are protected from the first to last day of employment
  • Ensure that the employers consult with workers and justify any redundancies
  • Ensure that the mothers have the right to take breaks during the working day, without loss of pay, to nurse their babies
  • Ensure that every employee is eligible for parental leave after six months of service
  • Ensure that each parent is entitled to one month of post-natal leave immediately after the birth or adoption of a child
  • Ensure that the interns and trainees are entitled to the national minimum wage, except where they could be regarded as volunteers, and are recognised as workers

Industrial Actions

  • Ensure that industrial disputes are most fairly and quickly resolved
  • Provide a legal framework which will enable employees and their trade unions to pursue legitimate trade disputes, and provide them with appropriate rights and immunities in so doing
  • Support the work of international organisations, notably the International Labour Organisation
  • Condemn all attempts to deprive working people of their rights

Safety and Security

  • Ensure that legal aid is provided for cases brought before the labour courts
  • Ensure that re-employment is the normal remedy for unfair dismissal, rather than a lump sum pay-off
  • Ensure worker Health and Safety practices are adhered to and legislated for
  • Ensure that the industrial production is based on social needs rather than the maximisation of profit and ever increasing consumption
  • Ensure that the scale of industrial production is reduced if we are to live within environmental limits
  • Produce and maintain a green industrial strategy that combines a national jobs strategy

Welfare

  • Ensure respect for workers, unions, communities, and families
  • Create a pension bridging programme for workers who will retire earlier than planned due to the some phase out
  • Create a detailed and publicly available inventory with labour market information such as skills profiles, demographics, locations, and current and potential employers
  • Implement employment strategy for people with disabilities
  • Implement a flexible working strategy for permitting people to work from home or from other locations
  • Implement a right for employees to switch off from work email and phone calls when outside of work hours and when not compensated for this extra activity
  • Provide protections for workers who miss work in extreme weather conditions
  • Require businesses and public agencies with 50 or more employees to publish their gender pay gap in their annual reports
  • Ensure universal health care that is government paid and based on need, not profit, regardless of work status
  • Use of public funds to invest in businesses that produce non-polluting, renewable and efficient energy systems and labour-friendly jobs
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