Trade Union Bill is bad for democracy and for working people, says UNISON

Union says that the Bill is designed to ‘stop union reps from carrying out their duties’

Speaking ahead of giving evidence today (Thursday) to the Trade Union Bill Committee, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:

“Now more than ever before the voices of people at work need to be heard, but the government is doing everything in its power to silence them.

“Relentless spending cuts to our public services mean yet more jobs are at stake, services are under siege and wages continue to be squeezed. But ministers are determined to stop working people from standing up for themselves at work.

“They want to stop union reps from carrying out their duties, when all the evidence suggests that their work is beneficial to both their employers and their work colleagues.

“Rather than denying working people a voice by raising the bar on strike thresholds much higher, ministers should be allowing modern ways of voting so people can take part in online ballots or have their say via ballot boxes in workplaces.

“Removing the check-off system, where union subs are deducted from members’ pay each month, serves no purpose other than to disrupt unions’ ability to function.

“This Bill is vindictive and spiteful, and threatens to put industrial relations back decades. Only yesterday it was reported that HR directors from NHS trusts have written to the government expressing their concerns over the risks the Bill poses to partnership working.

“The government should be focusing on the real problems the UK faces, instead of undermining the civil liberties of people at work and weakening employees’ rights to support when things go wrong at work.

“Ministers cannot be allowed to succeed in silencing working people and their unions. That would not only be bad for those who need our help most, but for democracy too.”