A couple of weeks ago, Labour colleagues and I crossed the road to Parliament Square to talk to outsourced Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy workers from the Public and Commercial Services Union and the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, who were demanding equal terms and conditions with directly employed staff. They were disappointed that no Minister from the Department came to talk to them. If anyone had, they would have heard how people’s status as contracted-out workers is a fundamental cause of their insecurity.
We have heard fine words from the Secretary of State about workers’ rights recently, yet here is an example of workers being forced into precarious contracts under his very nose. Will he outline what he is doing to put his own house in order to help resolve this dispute? And, in the process, will he learn the lesson that outsourcing is the cause of insecurity and poverty pay?