Yesterday Parliament debated the Trade Union Bill. The Trade Union Bill wishes, amongst many other things, to allow agency workers to be brought in when people use their right to withhold their labour. Provisions in the Bill also seek to establish thresholds for strike ballots. Thresholds which half of the government Cabinet didn’t even reach at the 2015 election.
Moreover, this Bill is an attack on funding to political parties as chosen by trade union members. Bills should be created for the common good, not to score cheap political points.
But the damage this Bill seeks to implement doesn’t end there. It would also present a threat to political activity and campaigning by trade unions, such as the excellent campaign by the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) to end violence against shop workers, called ‘Freedom from Fear’.
These are but few of the measures included in this Bill. Altogether these points create a Bill that frustrates democracy and does nothing to tackle the pressing national challenges facing our public services, businesses and industries alike.
Sadly, the government won the vote 317 to 284 and it will now proceed to committee stage where amendments can be added.
We were promised a one nation government. What we have in this Bill is provocative and will worsen industrial relations. I strongly believe that when business and unions work together job security is strengthened and companies become more prosperous.
I voted against this Bill to ensure that the cornerstone of our way of life is not eroded away. People in Flintshire need union representation to help secure jobs. Businesses in Flintshire need unions to help secure a strong working relationship between managers and employees.
Rest assured I will continue to vote against this Bill and press the government to protect people’s rights both at home and in the workplace.