Trade Union Bill - Oppose this attack on workers' rights

14 September 2015 - 4:30pm
News

The government's notorious Trade Union Bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons by 33 votes and will now go to committee stage. We are opposing the Bill alongside unions and others committed to ensuring everyone’s right to decent work. This bill would fundamentally harm trade union rights in the UK and would severely weaken our Unions.

Strikes would be unlawful unless there was 50% turnout in the ballot with public sector strikes also requiring the backing of at least 40% of those eligible to vote. Employers would be able to use agency temp workers to break strikes and there would be severe constraints on peaceful protest and picketing. A consultation document for the Bill suggests workers would have to wear an armband or badge to identify themselves in a protest!

Even Tory MP David Davis has called some of the measures “draconian” such as the outrageous requirement for picketers to give their names to the police and notify any planned use of Twitter and Facebook.

The government would also have powers to restrict the work of union safety reps and shop stewards in the public sector. Crucially, the Bill could harm union membership there too. Union members usually pay their union subscriptions by deduction from their pay at source. The money is then passed direct to the union by their employer. This arrangement is known as 'check off’. The Bill would end this simple facility in the public sector and require all unions to undertake a costly separate membership sign on.

Overall the Bill is a shocking attack on the power of UK workers to challenge their employers.

Trade unions protect the ordinary worker against poor conditions, low pay and unfair dismissal. Over the centuries, workers who organised themselves into unions have fought corporate power to give us the weekend, the eight-hour day, paid holidays, paid sick leave, paid maternity leave and pretty much every other working right we now enjoy.

The UK is not alone in seeing government attempts to protect corporate rights over workers. War on Want works together with unions in sweatshops and workplaces around the world - in countries such as China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Zambia, Honduras and Colombia - to demand respect for the rights of workers.

Workers can win the fight for their rights. But in the UK the Government wants to push this Bill through the Houses of Parliament as fast as possible. Please don’t let them! Write to your MPs by taking the TUC action.  And come join us on 4th at the national march and Rally in Manchester and at the Westminster march on 2 November in London

Take action

War on Want depends on the commitment of its many thousands of supporters, members, affiliates, donors and volunteers.

Latest news

St Barts Strikers Up the Ante

20 July 2017 - 4:30pm

On Saturday 15 July 2017, Barts strikers organised a demonstration and rally. Local community groups came out to support the strikers who had been striking for fair pay. 

The largely black and migrant workers are striking for a 30p per hour pay rise. They are employed by Serco, a multinational that profits from the privatisation of the NHS.

Serco also runs for-profit immigration detention centres, such as Yarlswood, where there have been numerous allegations of abuse and poor treatment. Detention centres effectively imprison people who have committed no crime.

Read more

North African Food Sovereignty Network launched

17 July 2017 - 11:15am

War on Want's Senior Programme Officer for the North Africa and West Asia region, Hamza Hamouchene, was actively involved in supporting the development of and launch of the North African Network for Food Sovereignty. Pambazuka covered the launch of the network and its charter.

Read more

Join the conversation

RT @WarOnWant: #MaryTurner Everyone @WarOnWant sadto learn of the death of @GMB_union President Mary Turner. A true fighter for workers rig… 16 hours 45 min ago
#MaryTurner Everyone @WarOnWant sadto learn of the death of @GMB_union President Mary Turner. A true fighter for wo… https://t.co/1YgSvWY93T 16 hours 46 min ago
Israel's violence against Palestinians is financed by banks on our high streets. @HSBC must #StopArmingIsrael now!… https://t.co/fRasAc2afs 17 hours 18 min ago