Corbyn calls for Trade Unionism to be taught in Schools

The Labour leader wants citizenship lessons to include lessons on workers rights and collective action.

In a keynote speech to the annual Durham Miners Gala, Jeremy Corbyn has suggested that trade unions had been “marginalised, vilified and undermined”, and that children should be taught about union principles such as collective action and solidarity.

He said: “Children should not only learn about trade unions and their rights at work, but should be fully equipped to exercise and develop those rights.

“Schools need to teach these values and together we can, and will, transform society so it works for the many, not the few.”

The lessons would form part of the existing citizenship curriculum, which is a mandatory subject taught to all pupils in England at present.

Under the plans pupils would be taught not just about the history of Trade Unionism, but their practical real world impact in the workplace.

Corbyn continued: “We know that power in society, and in our workplaces, has become concentrated in the hands of a few, at the expense of everybody else.

“But history shows those at the top have never conceded anything, without it being demanded from people below – things we all enjoy but now take for granted, like weekends and paid holidays.

“For too long, trade unions have been marginalised, vilified and undermined, and workers have lost out, while more and more money lines the pockets of shareholders.

“The next Labour government will restore trade union rights, but we need to also make sure young people learn about the principles of solidarity and collective action.”

Tory MPs are furious with the idea, with Andrew Bridgen, Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire, telling reporters “vulnerable young minds should be protected from Marxist indoctrination”.

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