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Jeremy Corbyn pledges to end ‘scandal of zero hour contracts’ at May Day rally in Clerkenwell Green

PUBLISHED: 19:55 01 May 2016 | UPDATED: 20:16 01 May 2016

Jeremy Corbyn addresses the crowd in Clerkenwell Green to mark the May Day rally. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Jeremy Corbyn addresses the crowd in Clerkenwell Green to mark the May Day rally. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

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Jeremy Corbyn today became the first Labour leader in 50 years to address the May Day rally in Clerkenwell Green.

From the top of a bus, Jeremy Corbyn addresses the crowd in Clerkenwell Green to mark the May Day rally. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA WireFrom the top of a bus, Jeremy Corbyn addresses the crowd in Clerkenwell Green to mark the May Day rally. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

The Islington North MP joined hundreds of people before they marched to Trafalgar Square to mark international worker’s day.

He said the rally had a long tradition of standing up for the “timeless principle” of uniting the working class.

Speaking on top of a red London bus, Mr Corbyn used his speech to announce a new commission to tackle workers’ rights and zero hours contracts.

He said: “We will be establishing, in a couple of weeks time, an organisation or a commission called ‘Workplace 2020’ which will be looking at the end to change or improve trade union and workers’ rights, including self employed workers.”

He said the initiative would “end the scandal of zero hours contracts”, “end the scandal of insecurity” and “end the scandal of a lower wage for younger workers when their needs and demands are just as great as any older worker - to end their discrimination”.

Cllr Kat Fletcher, right, next to Jeremy Corbyn at the May Day rally in Clerkenwell this month. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA WireCllr Kat Fletcher, right, next to Jeremy Corbyn at the May Day rally in Clerkenwell this month. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Mr Corbyn continued: “And to say to those fast food chains and others that think you can evade the idea that trade unions have a right to organise.

“We want there to be a positive right to join and be represented by a trade union in every workplace in our country.”

He also spoke about the junior doctors’ strike during his speech in Clerkenwell, where he claimed that it was “beyond disgraceful” that health secretary Jeremy Hunt was “more interested” in privatising 49% of NHS services than coming to an agreement with the health workers.

Mr Corbyn said he was “proud” to march with the junior doctors through Westminster last week with the shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

He called to the crowd to “work to achieve a society where there isn’t the grotesque levels of inequality that there are”.

Additional reporting by PA


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