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

Government challenged to rule out 'corporate courts'

30 July 2019 - 7:30am

Government challenged to rule out ‘corporate courts’ after Brexit, following criticism by influential MPs

  • Trade Committee calls investment rules ‘hugely controversial’ ahead of possible no deal Brexit
  • Armenia is latest country to be threatened, with $2 billion claim by mining company Lydian over Amulsar gold mine
  • New 18-minute documentary charts story of resistance to international mining industry in Amulsar
Read more

Liam Fox 'in denial' over huge public concern at post-Brexit trade deals

18 July 2019 - 11:15am

600,000 submissions to public consultation ‘essentially ignored’, say campaigners

Read more

Join the conversation

Ending free movement suddenly could make any EU citizen who hasn't obtained settled status vulnerable to the… https://t.co/2YWMUGVCuy 11 hours 20 min ago
Emergency demo: The Armenian government gave the go-ahead for a toxic gold mine at Amulsar Mountain, caving to pres… https://t.co/ntEY1oR6cL 12 hours 43 min ago
RT : I am hosting an interactive event at the ⁦ with the kind support of ⁦⁩ and ⁦⁩: ‘The Yemen… https://t.co/A4XQI2QDDP 12 hours 54 min ago