The Government saw off union demands for less restrictive strike laws on Sunday as Labour ruled out making them a manifesto commitment for the next general election.
The party and unions issued a joint statement welcoming the agreement of a “serious set of policies for the future of Britain” by its National Policy Forum.
Local activists, ministers and unions have been locked in negotiations at Warwick University on the contents of the party’s next general election manifesto since Friday.
Calls for revived rights to secondary picketing and measures to make strike action easier, rejected by Gordon Brown as a “return to the 1970s”, were defeated.
The result will be a relief for the under-fire Prime Minister following Tory claims the cash-strapped Labour party was a “helpless prisoner” of the unions.
The unions are the party’s biggest financial backers, supplying 90 per cent of its funds. The National Policy Forum agreed that the right to unpaid time off to deal with urgent parental issues should be extended to all those with children up to the age of 16.
There was also approval for the minimum wage to be given to workers when they reach 21, rather than the present 22, and for an ambitious target to treble the numbers taking up apprenticeships.
Controversial Government policies such as building a new generation of nuclear power stations, a welfare crackdown and ID cards were also all approved, a Labour spokesman said.
“The agreement shows Labour backing Gordon Brown in policy,” he said.
There was no commitment to free school meals for all primary school pupils, although it was agreed councils would be encouraged to copy a pilot project in Hull.
NPF vice chair Simon Burgess said: “This has been a comprehensive policy process unique in British politics. We have spent three years in close conversation with the British people, the trade unions, business and voluntary organisations.
“We have worked together, debated keenly and reached agreement on a serious set of policies for the future of Britain.
“Our agreed policy platform matches the aspirations and concerns of British people. This stands in stark contrast to the vague, shallow words of the Tories.”
Tony Dubbins, deputy general secretary of Britain’s biggest union Unite, who chairs of the Trade Union Liaison Organisation (Tulo) which acts as the link between the party and its affiliated unions, said there had been an “intensive weekend of keenly debated issues”.
“The unions are pleased to join the CLPs and ministers in welcoming a set of policies which we believe positively address this agenda for the future of the British people. We have worked together co-operatively and effectively in the finest traditions of the Labour movement.”
The Labour party spokesman said there had been “discussion and argument” but that the party had been willing to accept “reasonable and constructive” policy amendments.
Allowing councils to apply for a grant to build more social homes, a commitment to create a million “green collar” jobs in the environmental sector, the provision of charging points to encourage the use of electric cars and moves to give young people more say in local council services were among other areas of agreement.