UNISON welcomes Caerphilly motion on Trade Union Bill

Communities across Wales are uniting to oppose divisive attack on democracy says Cymru / Wales regional secretary

UNISON Cymru / Wales regional secretary Margaret Thomas has warmly welcomed news that Caerphilly County Borough Council will consider a motion to oppose the Trade Union Bill at a special council meeting tomorrow (29 September).

The motion says the bill is an attack on democracy and is socially divisive; it will lead to more confrontational relationships between employers and employees.

The motion calls on the council to write to the Conservative government urging it to abandon the bill and work in partnership with the trade union movement to achieve a fairer society.

“It is really important that communities across Wales are uniting in opposition to the Tories’ vicious Trade Union Bill,” said Ms Thomas.

“It is absolutely right that Caerphilly councillors are taking this stand and this follows First Minister Carwyn Jones’s strong public statement against the Bill.

“This legislation is totally unnecessary and the Tory Party wants to undermine the civil rights of working class people.

“Attacking trade unions in such a brutal manner will actually destroy the good working relationship we have with employers.

“As public services are devolved, we believe the bill should not apply in Wales. It’s essential that other employers and councils in Wales tell the UK government loud and clear how divisive the bill would be.”

The unfair changes will make it much harder for all UNISON members across Wales doing valuable jobs in our communities – nurses, school support staff, midwives and other public sector workers – to ever strike for a pay rise or challenge the behaviour of bad employers.

UNSION Caerphilly branch secretary Gary Enright said: “The content of the Bill, when considered alongside the government’s wider agenda, amounts to a curbing of democratic rights, a suppression of civil liberties, and an attempt to silence the voice of ordinary working people.

“It is without doubt the most significant, sustained and partisan attack on trade union members in a generation.

“I’m proud that Caerphilly Labour’s council will be the first local authority in Wales to challenge the Conservative government’s ideological attack.

“The councillors should be congratulated. We call on other councils across Wales to do the same.”

Tuesday’s council meeting will discuss a motion stating: “We the undersigned ask that this council opposes the introduction of the Trade Union Bill 2015.

“We ask this council write to urge the Conservative government to abandon this bill and make a commitment to work in partnership with the trade union movement to achieve a fairer society.

“We believe this bill is driven by Conservative ideology and is an outdated response to the challenges of the 21st century.

“This bill is counterproductive, vindictive, socially divisive, and lead to more confrontational relationships between employers and employees, and ultimately undermine rather than support public services.

“It is also our view that this bill is an attack on democracy.”