Workers ‘desperate’ for change, says GMB union leader

Workers are “desperate” for a change of government after 14 years of “chaos and failure” under the Conservatives, a senior union leader said.

Gary Smith, general secretary of the GMB, told the union’s annual conference in Bournemouth that the building blocks of decency at work had been “hacked away” by the Tories.

Workers had suffered low pay, long hours and insecurity and had had enough of the way the country has been run, he said.

But Mr Smith also warned Labour that change cannot be just a “snappy election slogan”.

He told delegates: “The Tories have imposed austerity, hollowed out our public services and left our economy in tatters.

“They are agents of chaos and their time is up.

“My challenge to Labour is to recognise that ‘change’ can’t be just a snappy election slogan. It must be brought to life in the reality of government.”

Mr Smith said Labour’s New Deal for workers was a promising sign of the party’s plans in government, adding: “Our job is to hold the next Labour government to account and bring the New Deal to life.”

“There is the prospect of a better future for workers,” he added, praising Labour for pledging to scrap the controversial legislation aimed at ensuring a minimum level of service during strikes.