TU BillPosted: November 9, 2015
Trade Unions are part of stronger economies & more equal societies
The TU bill is an attack on our working conditions, our civil liberties, our human rights & so much more.
The Trade Union Bill
The proposals have been criticised by all the Trade Unions but also by Liberty, Amnesty International & the British Institute of Human Rights.
“It is hard to see the aim of this bill as anything but seeking to undermine the rights of all working people. We owe so many of our employment protections to trade unions and we join them in opposing this bill.”
*An attack on working people It will undermine ordinary people’s ability to organise together to protect their jobs, livelihoods and the quality of their working lives.”
*An attack on our civil liberties- The bill proposes huge restrictions on peaceful picketing and protests. The Bill has the potential to cause significant damage to fair and effective industrial relations in this country and would set a dangerous precedent for the wider curtailment of freedom of assembly and association.
Liberty’s briefing on the TU Bill
The right to freedom of assembly and association is the cornerstone of an open and free democracy. Most obviously, it allows us to participate in democracy by protecting the right to peaceful protest. But it also allows individuals to come together to develop, share, test and disseminate ideas about philosophy, politics, science, society, the arts. It allows political movements to begin and to grow and people to organise and campaign for a common cause. It is a close corollary of the right to freedom of expression, 1 conscience, 2 and private and family life, 3 which are also protected by the Convention.
We are all entitled to seek friendship, solidarity, support and comfort without the interference of the state. It is for each of us to decide with whom we want to share our time, our energy and our ideas as well as to have the power to decline to associate with someone or something. Every member of society is empowered to take to our shared streets to raise awareness or to ask peacefully for change. This essential freedom is the preserve of no creed, no political persuasion, no nationality. Instead, it sits at the heart of what it means to be free.
It attacks the capacity of unions to support green workplace projects – the energy and resource efficient workplaces that tackle environmental pollution and climate change. *hospitals and government departments face very different challenges from power stations and ports but they had one thing in common: employee involvement.
The Trade Union Bill will greatly reduce the ability of trade unions to fund campaign groups.
What the Conservatives are calling the Trade Union Bill is in a reality a threat to all of our rights at work. If it becomes law it will make the lives of all working people a lot tougher, giving a green light to bad bosses to behave badly by undermining the right to strike.
What are the government proposing?
They want to place extreme and severe restrictions on the right to strike (by allowing employers to use agency workers to replace striking workers, introduce industrial action ballot thresholds which would have made nearly half of all strikes since 1997 illegal and making extremely detailed, onerous requirements on taking industrial action even more complicated.)
Strangling people’s most powerful way of protecting their rights at work (by limiting the amount of time workplace representatives can spend on trade union activities and duties (called ‘facility time’) in the public sector, despite this time being agreed voluntarily between employers and trade unions. )
The Government want to
- Place extreme and severe restrictions on the right to strike
- Strangle the most powerful way you have of protecting your rights at work – your union – in red tape and costs
- Silence voices and stifle protest and picketing – for example, having to tell your employer what you’ll post on Facebook two weeks in advance or whether you intend to carry a banner or loudspeaker.
Every single one of us will have fewer rights at work, and less power in the workplace as the government stacks the scales against you.
However badly an employer may behave they will know that the government is on their side, not yours.
This is threat to all our rights at work; the safety of the rights we have now, and the rights we are still fighting for, such as ending zero hours contracts.
When people are organised in trade unions, they achieve better pay at work, fairer working conditions and have safer workplaces. In contrast, the undermining of trade unions in this country is associated with growing inequality, stagnating wages and increasing numbers in insecure work. Further tightening the shackles on trade unions through the Trade Union Bill threaten to make this worse. In short, being able to protect rights at work is good for people, good for the economy and good for society – and the best way to make this happen is to have stronger trade unions, not this Trade Union Bill.
This bill is bad for workers, bad for business, bad for Britain