Jeremy Corbyn has pledged a £10 an hour minimum wage for all workers over 16 if his party is elected to government.
In a speech delivered to the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in Brighton, Corbyn said Labour would also deliver action on the gender pay gap, equal rights for all workers from day one and the end of zero-hour contracts, claiming it would be the “biggest extension of rights for workers that [the] country has ever seen”.
He added nearly half a million people are still being paid less than the minimum wage and that too many employers “are getting away with flouting laws”. His government would create a Workers Protection Agency with “real teeth”, which has the power to enter workplaces and “bring prosecutions” on workers’ behalf, he said.
Corbyn said: “Labour is on the side of the people in the real battle against the born-to-rule establishment that Johnson represents. We stand for the interests of the many – the overwhelming majority who do the work and pay their taxes – not the few at the top … who hoard the wealth and dodge their taxes.
“It’s Labour’s historic mission to transform people’s lives … and that transformation begins in the workplace.”
Trade union Usdaw supported the announcement, and said that “only Labour can deliver the changes workers”. General secretary Paddy Lillis said: “Today Jeremy Corbyn set out policies and priorities for the next Labour government, clearly demonstrating that only Labour will deliver for working people who have suffered greatly under nine years on Conservative-led governments.
“Labour’s proposed Ministry for Employment Rights will ensure that the agenda for change will go throughout a term of office and beyond simply delivering a list promises in a manifesto.”