Theresa May has proven (yet again) that the Conservatives have absolutely no intention of being the “party of workers” as they have so often claimed. Today in a speech to UK business lobbyists May ditched key proposals and broke promises that she made earlier this year to give workers representation on company boards.
At the Conservative Party Conference in October-May said:
So later this year we will publish our plans to have not just consumers represented on company boards, but workers as well.
Because we are the party of workers. Of those who put in the effort. Those who contribute and give of their best.
not about mandating … the direct appointment of workers or trade union representatives on boards
First, while it is important that the voices of workers and consumers should be represented, I can categorically tell you that this is not about mandating works councils, or the direct appointment of workers or trade union representatives on Boards.
But it is about establishing the best corporate governance of any major economy, ensuring employees’ voices are properly represented in Board deliberations, and that business maintains and – where necessary – regains the trust of the public.
The proposal would’ve been quite minor overall and only allowed for one worker to represent employees in the board room. Not exactly groundbreaking stuff, but none the less could have been a significant opportunity for workers to have their say in how a company is run.
The U- turn has even been met with criticism from the business world, who have expressed disappointment for this missed opportunity.
Business Insider UK reports on May’s U-Turn:
Had May stuck to her guns it would have created a unique policy that would have cost taxpayers nothing, required no government spending, increased innovation, fairer and better pay for workers, and more successful businesses overall.
The policy has been advocated by business leaders such the Chief Executive of Rolls Royce Warren East who welcomed May’s announcement in October. East said he had witnessed a positive effect in Germany where this kind of worker representation is common.
We have nearly 20 per cent of our workforce in Germany, so are well-acquainted with worker representation
We have good relations here with our trade unions. It could be an extra channel to communicating with the workforce. Gone are Victorian days of managers and workers.
Why should workers not have a say in how the company is run? They are the ones actually doing the work, and they have valuable contributions to make about the way a company is run.
The claims made by May in October that the Tories are the “party of workers” was always ludicrous, so this move will not be met with much surprise by the public. However, it really is a testament to the fact that the government simply have no interest in improving the lives of the working class what so ever.
In the current political climate in which so much hatred and anger is springing forth from the working class who are rebelling against 40 years of decreasing pay, wage stagnation, and lack of opportunity by voting for Trump, Brexit, and likewise supporting Corbyn, or Sanders – it seems odd that May would give up on a policy that could’ve given the Tories at least some small credibility as the party of working people.
Yet more proof (as if it was needed) that the Tories don’t give a f*ck about working people.