The STUC has been calling for an early General Election for some months now. Now, we finally have the chance to rid the country of this government and the prospect of years of economic misery, growing inequality and poverty, and an anti-union onslaught. Whilst there is little doubt that constitutional issues will be major issues of debate, we must ensure that this election is not simply a re-run of the EU referendum or a dress rehearsal for a future Scottish referendum. There is too much at stake to let this be a leave/remain – yes/no election campaign.
As unions we will fight to ensure that all the political parties focus on the everyday issues that affect our members.
We demand of all political parties that they present a progressive programme that appeals to working people backed by evidence and not populist soundbites.
We what to hear positive, progressive, outward looking policies and a socially just vision for the future that will resonate with our members and which they will be reward at the ballot box.
We want to hear what all parties have to say about fair work; strong unions; collective bargaining; an inclusive, sustainable economy; the climate crisis; adequately resourced public services; fair and progressive taxation; decent living standards for all; and fair trade underpinned by the highest employment an environmental standards.
We also want a pledge from all political parties that fighting racism will be a major plank of their campaign. It is time to put an end to the dog-whistle politics which has caused a rise racism and racist incidents.
Above all, there is an urgent need for a change in how our economy and society is shaped. Austerity was a disaster for our country and we are faced with a climate crisis that calls for a massive economic and industrial intervention.
Any political party which does not face up to the reality of urgent action of climate change whilst protecting the poor and creating high quality jobs will be punished at the ballot box.