Trade Union Bill

The Tory government’s Trade Union Bill is an attempt to put even more restrictions on trade unions. The Tories seem to believe (or they want the public to believe) that trade unions are just about random strikes that disrupt the public. Any trade unionist will tell you that nobody wants to strike: a strike is the result of a failure in talks and is a last resort. Much of the work of trade unions is helping individuals, communication between employers and employees and helping the workplace to function smoothly. This Bill is designed to make these key functions that much more difficult.

Trade unions have to ballot their members on strike action already. The government wants to make it more difficult to do so. It is refusing to allow ballots by social media and phone (the way Tories hold elections for their London mayoral candidate for example) and are imposing threshholds which are not even met in the national Parliamentary elections. Once a strike is called they are putting all sorts of restrictions on picket lines – restrictions found nowhere else in the world.

This is why Kingston and Surbiton CLP passed the following motion.

 Trade Union Bill

This constituency believes the Trade Union Bill’s Second Reading on 14th September shows this Government is determined to shackle the voice of working people via its attack on the trade unions.

This constituency further believes strikes are a last resort but the requirement of a minimum 50% turnout amongst members entitled to vote and a further 40% yes vote threshold (i.e. 80% of those who vote) in ‘important public services’ are an attempt to silence working people.

This constituency now believes the right to strike is under threat and draconian measures seeking the names of pickets and restrictions on social media usage are a fundamental attack on human rights.

We are concerned that allowing the use of agency workers to break strike action will lead to staff carrying out work they are not trained for and potentially lead to unsafe workplaces and services.

We believe facility time arrangements for local union reps and the deductions of subscriptions through payroll are matters between employers and recognised unions in the public sector and are the basis for good industrial relations and it is counterproductive for the Government to stop or restrict these arrangements.

This constituency condemns the attacks on unions’ political funds as a shabby attempt to undermine their public campaigning voice and the traditional relationship between many unions and Labour.

This constituency calls on the Labour Party, locally and nationally, to:

1)     campaign against the Bill;

2)     organise and join local protests against the Bill;

3)     to work with trade unions to oppose the Bill;

4)     build support for the TUC lobby of Parliament on 2nd November.