Greens offer ‘jilted generation’ a ‘message of hope’

For the common good

 The Green Party Youth Manifesto

The Green Party will launch the first ever youth manifesto from a major political party ahead of the European Elections. 

The Manifesto, launched by the Green Party’s candidate for European Commission president, Ska Keller, includes pledges to abolish tuition fees and create well paid jobs for young people. 

The launch comes after a YouGov poll revealed that only 41% of 17-21 year olds are planning to vote in the upcoming elections. 

Ska Keller, now 32, was one of the youngest MEPs to be elected to the European Parliament in 2009, she is focusing her campaigning on the youth vote and on fighting the rise of the far right across Europe. 

Ska Keller, co-leader of the European Greens election campaign, said:“We Greens will make clear what our alternatives are for Europe: a fair and green way out of the crisis, putting youth unemployment on top of the agenda, more rights for refugees and migrants, a fair Europe in the world, more ambitious climate targets and more democracy.”  Continue reading

REMEMBER BANGLADESH FACTORY DISASTER – ONE YEAR ON

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Green Party MEP Jean Lambert has urged support for one of the several events in the UK commemorating the Rana Plaza factory disaster, which took place exactly a year ago.

Some 1133 people were killed and over 2500 were injured – mostly workers in the Ready-Made Garment industry supplying clothes to UK High Streets – when the Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Jean Lambert visited Bangladesh last month as chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation to South Asia to discuss a wide range of political topics, including workers’ rights and factory safety.

Tomorrow she will mark the anniversary by visiting a garment factory in Finsbury Park, North London, to compare conditions faced by workers in the UK and Bangladesh.

The she will take part in a ‘Flash Mob’ on Oxford Street organised by ‘Fashion Revolution’ – a global campaign run by insiders calling for the fashion industry to clean up its supply chains.

Fashion revolution are urging people to wear clothes inside out for the day – so as to display the manufacturers’ label – to raise awareness of the Rana Plaza disaster.

Speaking at a recent conference on workers’ rights in the ready-made garment industry organised with aid charity Care International last week, the London Green MEP welcomed the ‘good’ progress being made on the appointment of factory inspectors, inspection of buildings and changes to Bangladesh’s employment law.

Jean Lambert said she was pleased that over 100 unions have been formed in the garment sector in the last year.

But she said there were still problems making sure all victims of the factory collapse and the earlier Tasreen factory fire received compensation – as not all companies selling the clothes made at Rana Plaza have paid into a compensation fund agreed last year.

“There remain problems – not just in relation to full compensation, but also in terms of what happens to workers and their jobs if a factory is found to be unsafe and forced to close,” she said.

“But the willingness is there from many stakeholders to make progress and better the living conditions and wages of the workers.

“The European Parliament will be watching to ensure that progress is maintained and that workers – many of whom are women – will be able to make a decent living in safe conditions.”

 

 

ATTACKING FOREIGNERS DOESN’T DEFEND WORKERS’ RIGHTS

 

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Green Party MEP Jean Lambert has pointed to the chasm between UKIP claiming to defend British workers jobs, while doing nothing to defend their rights at work.

Speaking on the BBC today, she said: “Today an anti-EU poster campaign has been launched, suggesting that UK jobs are under threat from EU migrants, these posters represent crocodile tears for British workers.”

“There is no fixed number of jobs so it is misleading to assume that a British worker loses out every time a non-UK national gets a job. We should also not assume that every vacant job has a local applicant with the necessary skills.

“We should be ensuring everyone in work has the same rights and earns a living wage. UKIP has not once defended workers’ rights in the European Parliament and frequently speaks of such rights – to control working time, to parental leave, to equal treatment – as “barriers to business”.

She added: “This xenophobic campaign is just nasty: it is anti-foreigner and leaves many EU migrants – that’s more than a million people in London alone, and British citizens from diverse backgrounds, wondering whether they should be here at all.

“The Green Party believes the UK should be at the heart of the EU, with a prime seat at the decision-making table: not only to boost employment and workers’ rights, but to ensure we influence EU standards on air quality, its responses to climate change and that the UK has a voice on key decisions about how and where we get our energy from in future.”