Don't ever let anyone tell you one vote makes no difference - of course it does. Every single vote is important and every single vote matters. In the European Parliament, Labour MEPs recognise the value of the vote and that's why they turn up to vote on issues that affect you. Not all parties do - some barely turn up at all.
In a vote on Wednesday on an amendment to the report on the Global Development Framework after 2015, the Social and Democratic Group won by one vote - one vote which allows a progressive trade union friendly policy to shape the Decent Work Agenda for the benefit of hard working people.
The amendment referred to can be seen in bold within the point 22 below:
22. Deems that the adoption of a holistic approach to confront inequalities entails, among other things, addressing the impact of the liberalisation agenda on poverty and inequality; recalls, for instance, that Least Developed Countries (LDCs) face difficulties in compensating for the decline of trade taxes as a result of trade liberalisation; underlines, likewise, that in a largely globalised economy, labour’s bargaining power has been reduced through liberalisation, which jeopardises in return fulfilment of the rights listed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Decent Work Agenda; accordingly, urges the EU to frame its trade policy strategy in such a way as to maintain and protect high social and environmental standards, while discouraging any forms of social and environmental dumping;
The Decent Work Agenda was developed by the International Labour Organisation, and consists of the following overall objectives:
- Creating Jobs – an economy that generates opportunities for investment, entrepreneurship, skills development, job creation and sustainable livelihoods.
- Guaranteeing rights at work – to obtain recognition and respect for the rights of workers. All workers, and in particular disadvantaged or poor workers, need representation, participation, and laws that work for their interests.
- Extending social protection – to promote both inclusion and productivity by ensuring that women and men enjoy working conditions that are safe, allow adequate free time and rest, take into account family and social values, provide for adequate compensation in case of lost or reduced income and permit access to adequate healthcare.
- Promoting social dialogue – Involving strong and independent workers’ and employers' organizations is central to increasing productivity, avoiding disputes at work, and building cohesive societies.
Julie Ward is proud to vote alongside her Labour colleagues, as she has respect for the people who voted for her, and would never abuse their trust by wilfully being absent from her duty. After all, as has been proven, one vote makes all the difference.