Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Jim Murphy and the role of trade unions...

What does lurk in the mind of Work and Pensions Minister, Jim Murphy? In his speech today at the TUC’s Disability Conference, he’s states:

"Unions represented many workers in traditional industries who went straight from work onto incapacity benefit. I want to explore whether unions can contract with government to support those on benefit get back into sustained employment.
So I invite you today. Why not use those skills to become providers of welfare to work services? The attributes you possess are invaluable."

According to the logic of Murphy, to be able to achieve the most effective and efficient service, both private and public sectors will need to take a role in providing welfare to work programmes, and that trade unions have much to offer in terms of experience and expertise…..

This amounts to confusion by Murphy about the function and role trade unions play. The role of the TUs is to keep workers in their jobs and not sacked due to “ill-health”. Otherwise to make sure employers provide an environment in which people can work at meaningful jobs where the disabilities that they face are worked around in a practical way and not used as a means of bullying and victimisation.

To quote an oft favourite line from EastEnders: “Er, what’s going on...Jim”?

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