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

Reaction: EU drops probe into McDonald’s €1 billion tax dodge

19 September 2018 - 3:15pm

Responding to the breaking news that the EU Commission has scrapped its tax probe into McDonalds, War on Want’s senior campaigner for economic justice Owen Espley says:

Read more

Middle East Monitor: Protests target HSBC over shares in Israel weapons company

17 September 2018 - 3:45pm

Activists come together to protest outside branches of HSBC bank over shares in an Israeli arms company accused of manufacturing internationally banned weapons.

Protestors directed their anger against the bank’s $4.7 million worth of shares in a number of Israeli arms manufactures, including Elbit system, calling on the bank to sever ties with the firms accused of abetting Israel’s crimes against Palestinians.

Read more

Join the conversation

In this special edition of Up Front find out how is resisting far right extremism & corporate power; fig… https://t.co/UR8fT4M8Px 1 hour 11 min ago
BREAKING: commission drops tax probe into €1 billion dodge, even though it agreed with our find… https://t.co/psgKepsEhU 1 hour 47 min ago
We know we need a world transformed and that's why we're helping make this year's bigger and better than e… https://t.co/VNPwyYh5ul 8 hours 33 min ago