With the general election campaign in its final stretch there are still thousands of undecided workers for whom the question still lingers: What is in it in store for me in terms of my working conditions?

An analysis of the manifestos presented by the two main political parties reveals quite a rosy picture if not a utopian one. Should both parties keep their word, by 2027 precarious employments would be consigned to the history books, families have more quality time to spend with each other and workers’ rights be safeguarded more than ever.

Both parties are promising aggressive income tax cuts, better work-life balance and the implementation of the right to disconnect. Employees in the public service are being promised better family-friendly measures and more flexibility while in the private sector measures will be taken to address inequalities and increase pay transparency.

UHM Voice of the Workers calls on the main political parties to refrain from making populist promises or making certain commitments just to win votes.

Unfortunately, recent history does not bode well. In 2017, in its manifesto Labour had promised to put in practice the principle of equal pay for equal work by enacting tighter legislation and beefing up enforcement. Ironically, it was government itself which rode roughshod on this promise through its persistent practice of outsourcing hundreds of jobs to private contractors. Five years down the line, there are hundreds of workers who are being discriminated against, under this model, whereby they are being offered inferior conditions to their workplace government colleagues. In this respect, one cannot ignore the saga of the Steward Health Care employees who to date are still being denied the conditions they were supposed to enjoy from the first day of employment. To add insult to injury the manifesto had also pledged to “eliminate” precarious employment, abolish zero-hour contracts and regularise employment contract through the establishment of a number of templates. Another promise which failed to materialise was for parents to be able to take sick leave when their children fall ill. These are just a handful of promises which never materialised and in certain cases are being reiterated once again. Far from trying to enter into the political arena or trying to influence our readers, such analysis was only meant to keep things in perspective. What applies for Labour applies for the Nationalists. However, the proof of the pudding only applies to that party which is elected to government, in this case Labour in 2017.

UHM Voice of the Workers believes that the overriding principle to safeguard workers’ right lies not in the respective manifestos and pre-election promises. The best way forward is having a united front whereby the common denominator is the workers’ cause and not political agendas.  As long as the trade union sector will remain fragmented and characterised by turf wars, the gains will be limited. The divide and conquer attitude being adopted in certain quarters will only serve to keep the status quo. Hence, when deciding to cast their vote, workers should keep in mind that regardless of their political beliefs, their biggest chance of success in achieving the same goals being presented in the manifestos is unity at the work place.