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JEREMY CORBYN called on Labour members and trade unionists to launch a summer of campaigning at the weekend’s Arise festival in London.
Mr Corbyn told the final rally at Conway Hall that a mass mobilisation of ordinary people was the only way to change Britain for the better.
Advising members not to be disheartened by media attacks, he said: “Think of the history of our movement. Think what people went through to found trade unions, to win the right to vote, the right for women to vote.
“None of those things happened because someone had a great idea and thought ‘I’ll put that to the House of Commons, I’m sure they’ll agree it.’
“It doesn’t work like that. Politics works when people mobilise together.
“This summer, don’t sit back. Get out there, campaigning on housing. On healthcare. On education.
“Out there fighting for social justice, for the rights of minorities, opposing the rise of racism.
“Give people — and ourselves — the confidence that we can win.”
Mr Corbyn was the star turn at an event that saw hundreds of activists throng 22 sessions and workshops on topics from justice for Grenfell to fighting back against the Tory war on women and from housing to peace.
Shadow minister for labour Laura Pidcock told an Institute of Employment Rights-sponsored meeting on Transforming the Workplace that “most workers are now working in a hostile environment.
“For a whole generation work means stress, work means insecurity. Contracts are temporary and wages don’t pay the bills.”
Rebuilding trade union power was essential if workers were to regain the confidence that collective struggle could change the world, she said.
By restoring sectoral collective bargaining, a Labour government would transform working conditions in whole areas of the economy, she said, saying that in social care alone a national agreement would mean “the race to the bottom on pay and conditions for some of the most skilled and hardest-working employees would be totally disincentivised.”
Labour would shift workplace culture so “we are no longer scrabbling for our rights as individuals” but working collectively to raise standards across the board.
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