I shall oppose this bill at every turn.
Trade Unions are an integral part of the work place and of British society.
They need to be strengthened at a time of rampant globalisation, not weakened by a Conservative Government hell bent on a vindictive attack on the hard-won rights of the trade union movement.
The Government’s proposals will lead to a serious imbalance of power within the workplace, undermining effective negotiations between employers and unions.
This will impact significantly on good employment relations, potentially extending disputes and making it more difficult to achieve amicable settlements.
The bill makes serious inroads into the right to take industrial action and to collectively organise - fundamental human rights which should be respected in a free and democratic society.
The government proposals will impose far greater restrictions on trade unions than on any other voluntary sector membership organisations.
Why? Because they are ideologically opposed to protecting the interests of working people.
Trade union action will be subject to levels of public and police scrutiny and controls which go far beyond what is fair and acceptable in a modern democracy. This is not the British way. It is alien to our traditions and our values.
They are turning back the clock on the rights of working people, as they are turning back the clock in so many other areas of public policy.
The Bill will also waste police time, at a time when our police forces are already being cut to the bone.
Employers will also be able to bring in agency workers to undermine lawful industrial action, regardless of the consequences for health and safety.
I believe this Bill is the latest in a long line of attempts by the Government to stifle reasonable democratic scrutiny, protest and challenge.
This Bill does nothing to address Britain’s productivity gap and skills shortages and, instead, risks driving a false wedge between government, industry, employees and the public by restricting, and at worst criminalising, the rights of ordinary working people to challenge low pay or health and safety concerns.
It is a divisive piece of legislation when we need an economy where business, employees and government work together, as they do in the most successful economies.
The second reading of this bill has yet to be announced, but you can follow its’ progress here: http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2015-16/tradeunion.html
Rest assured, I will stand shoulder to shoulder with the trade union movement and do everything in my power to oppose the Bill.