Mick and the Precariat

23 September 2014

Mick Whelan made a passionate plea for the Labour Party to work with the trade unions to bring back job security in place of the job insecurity which the Conservatives, and their coalition colleagues the Liberal Democrats, have foisted on the working people of this country. Mick was speaking at a Unions 21 fringe meeting called Creating the Good Work Economy at the People’s History Museum on, appropriately, the Left Bank, just off Deansgate, on Monday night. He said: ‘We need to look at things afresh if we want to move away from boom and bust. Because we have to move away from a race to the bottom. And we have to move away from this artificial form of self-employment. Mick then referred to the precariat – a play on precarious and proletariat – made popular recently by Guy Standing, economics professor at Bath University, but first coined, in English, by Noam Chomsky and, in French, by Pierre Bourdieu. ‘We need security and protection. The coalition has created a new social class, the precariat, a class of people with no job security. We need to give people back job security, and the essentials of life. ‘Through Labour, with some of their policies, we can do that But we will, at some point, have to go further. I look at my members, and I know that, via Unions 21 and TULO, we can deliver proper rights for the future. ‘Because it’s not about dogma or ideology. It’s about what is morally right. The UK is the richest countries in the world. Yet it is also one of the most unequal countries in the western world. How can we allow that?’

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