Outsourcing has eroded workers’ wages and rights

Much as I agreed with your editorial’s exposition of the abject failings of privatisation (22 June), you might add that mass outsourcing has also fuelled in-work poverty and eroded terms and conditions for hundreds of thousands of workers. Due to enduring trade union strength, the rail industry has been a partial exception, yet even here the subcontracting of cleaners and catering staff has driven pay down.

Elsewhere, in local government, NHS ancillary services and education, Tupe regulations have afforded little protection to workers against employers slashing labour costs. Not only have real wages fallen, but sick pay schemes have been squeezed or eliminated, and inferior pension schemes imposed.

While several Labour local authorities have moved to bring services inhouse, Keir Starmer’s refusal to support striking rail workers inspires no confidence that a Labour government would strengthen workers’ rights.
George Binette
Trade union liaison officer, Hackney North and Stoke Newington constituency Labour party

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