Democracy under attack

10 January 2016

The fight against the Trade Union Bill goes on. Sign the petition to the House of Lords.

Yesterday, our MPs debated the Bill again and it passed with 305 votes for, and 271 against. As the debate moves to the House of Lords, Unions Together are launching a new campaign to highlight the attack on democracy that is contained in the Bill.

Add your name now to our joint letter of petition, and Unions Together will present it to the House of Lords.

More information:

You can watch yesterday's debate in Parliament here.

Background on the Trade Union Bill:

The proposed restrictions on the right to strike, use of agency labour to make strikes ineffective and the criminalising of peaceful pickets will have a crushing effect on trade unions. The trade union bill also gives the government the right to snoop into union affairs, seize documents and impose heavy fines and would require trade unions to lay out detailed plans to the police on how they will use social media to coordinate legitimate industrial action.

The proposals in the trade union bill are unnecessary, undemocratic and threaten the civil liberties of working people by undermining their right to strike.

· This legislation proposes to introduce unfair and unnecessary restrictions on picketing

· The new regulations would allow agency workers to break strikes and would give employers more time to arrange it.

· The government would allow employers to cap the time union reps spend representing members and would also intrude on union members’ privacy by giving certification officers access to membership lists.

· The legislation would place a significant financial burden on unions by abolishing check off, introducing costly new red tape and threatening fines of up to £20,000. It also indirectly attacks Labour party funding by requiring that union members opt-in to the political fund every 5 years.

· The government proposes to raise thresholds for ballots on industrial action. A fairer way of improving democracy in the workplace would be to allow secure electronic and workplace strike ballots.

The new regulations are overly bureaucratic and the penalties are disproportionate. They are designed to reduce unions’ ability to represent their members and resolve disputes.

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