Prime minister pledges to fight for the workers

The
Labour Party has promised to improve working lives, with more holidays, an
increased minimum wage and a closer look at pensions.

At
the Labour Party Conference in Brighton
last week, trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt admitted that family support
and work-life balance will be an "absolutely central issue at the next
general election", as the party unveiled its latest proposals.

Prime
Minister Tony Blair said the party was dedicated to a "fair deal for all
at work", including the guarantee of a decent income, a rising minimum
wage, equal pay between men and women, and four weeks’ paid holidays plus bank
holidays.

Chancellor
Gordon Brown promised to extend paid maternity leave to up to 12 months, and
announced a minimum wage for 16 and 17-year-olds for the first time.

Brown
also pledged to create guaranteed training for the unemployed, and promised
government action on pensions
provision.

"We
will work with the unions to do what it takes to tackle the gross injustice of
workers who through no fault of their own find their pensions have been
destroyed," he said.

"We
will do what it takes to make sure that all workers can have security and
dignity in retirement.

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