I am sitting at the Labour Bristol stall at the Bristol Diversity Careers Fayre right now in the @Bristol conference centre in town. This is an interesting place to be – the stalls are a mixture of careers advice, recruitment, retail, training and some special interest like ours. From where I sit I can see City of Bristol college, Neal’s Yard Organics and Jamie at Home. Next to us is Alice’s Secrety Emporium, selling gif items, mostly heart shaped. And of course the European Movement, a sister organisation of the Labour party, though non-politically aligned, one which many of us are involved with.
Why are we here? Because we have a proud tradition as the party of work and diversity. It’s Labour who passes or has passed the laws which protect your employment rights, creates things like minimum wage, child care tax credits to help you work, and promote equal opportunities to get more black and other minority ethic people, lesbians and gay men and disabled people into the work they want and deserve by making it illegal to discriminate. The Tory-led government is trying to get rid of this protection by calling it “red tape”. Labour protects your rights and helps you to get work.
As part of our work in Bristol and across the UK, we know we need to keep talking more and more to people about what they want and need in the world of work.
There has never been a more important time to be emphasising and protecting people’s rights at work. Young people are facing record levels of unemployment, disabled people are facing some of the worst effects of the cuts. Women are, as I have blogged previously, taking the brunt of the cuts – they are losing jobs in public services, they are taking up the slack by caring for relatives and neighbours who don’t get the help they used to.
That’s why we are here today – come down and join us at @Bristol all day.