The Tories are in the process of pushing through an [Anti-] Trade Union Bill, which will threaten the most basic human rights to strike and organize.
The Bill passed its second reading in the Commons, and will come back for a final vote on 2 November.
We’re campaigning hard against the Bill – and we’re calling on all MPs to vote against it, irrespective of party allegiance.
Many MPs abstained or were absent for the important second reading – including Leeds NW MP, Greg Mulholland.
Today Leeds NW Labour members, along with trade unionists from the constituency, joined in collecting a huge number of signatures against the Bill – and the petition was presented to Greg Mulholland.
We welcome the commitment he gave to constituent Andy Fitzgerald to vote against the Bill on 2 November.
This is a pernicious bill. Labour voted against it at second reading. It’s essential that others join us on 2 November to defeat it.
This Bill, and other changes the Government are making, are a huge attack on working people and trade unions.
It will:
• undermine our right to strike for better pay and conditions or against unfair treatment

• threaten freedom of speech, with new restrictions on protests and pickets

• allow employers to use agency temps to replace striking workers

• introduce new red tape that not only makes it harder for unions to run political campaigns, but that will also drastically cut union funding to the Labour Party

• reduce the rights of union reps in the workplace, making it harder for them to represent their members.

Its provisions are seen as a fundamental threat to Human Rights – as those rights are widely recognized across the world.
Liberty, Amnesty International and the British Institute of Human Rights have all said that the bill “would hamper people’s basic rights to protest and shift even more power from the employee to the employer.”
The same groups have accused ministers of deliberately trying to put “more legal hurdles in the way of unions organising strike action” and said the bill would undermine workers’ ability to organise together to protect jobs and livelihoods.
They expressed particular concerns over new plans for restricting picketing and monitoring the use of social media during strikes.

The government is consulting on making it compulsory for unions to submit what they are planning to write on Facebook, Twitter and on blogs during a strike two weeks in advance to employers, the police and regulators. If unions breach this rule they could be hit with fines of up to £20,000 for each failure to comply.

Liberty, Amnesty International and the British Institute of Human Rights also hit out at proposals to make unions appoint picket line supervisors who must wear armbands and carry letters of authorisation at all times (which they must present to anyone who asks to see them). If unions fail to meet any of these checks they could be taken to court

The government’s own red tape watchdog, the Regulatory Policy Committee, has criticised ministers for trying to rush through the Trade Union Bill without proper consultation.
The RPC described the government’s three impact assessments on its proposals as “red – not fit for purpose”.

The Trade Union Bill weakens people’s voice at work, and weakens their voice in politics. It undermines the right to strike and makes it harder for unions and working people to win a fairer deal at work. It undermines freedom of speech, with new restrictions on protests and new red tape that makes it harder for unions to run political campaigns. It goes further than even Thatcher dared.

We must fight it – and we must win that fight.

You can do your bit by signing up to the Labour Party’s petition against the Bill and in support of rights at work

Over 340,000 people have already signed.
Make sure your name is among them.


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