Trade Union Bill Amendments Prove Campaigning Works
This week has seen the third reading in the House of Lords and concessions from the Government as a result of amendments made in the Lords.
This shows the success of all of the campaigning that has been done by Trade Unions, their members, their leaders and those within the business community too and even some Tory MPs who feel that the TU Bill in its original form goes too far. Indeed the majority view within the business community has always been that there is no need for further anti-trade union legislation.
Electronic balloting is one such amendment which the government has in part succumbed to.
Despite this many doubt the Government will implement anything positive for Union members that comes from the review.
Commenting on the government concessions to their draconian and anti-Trade Union Bill, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“We are pleased ministers have listened to reason and committed to holding a review of electronic voting for strike ballots.
She concluded on this point:
“It must be a case of when – and not if – trade unions are allowed to use modern balloting methods. We will continue to make this case forcibly.”
On the concession that ministers will delay imposing a cap on facility time in the public sector, Frances O’Grady said:
“We are also pleased that ministers have backed away from imposing a cap on union facility time, having originally planned to introduce this within six months of the Trade Union Bill becoming law.
Paid time off for public sector union reps to represent their members is granted by employers because it is good for staff well-being, improves communication and stops problems escalating into disputes."
The government also backed away from plans to ban workers from opting to pay their union subscriptions through payroll in the public sector – the so-called ‘check-off’ system. Further, they accepted a House of Lords compromise to delay controversial changes to union political funds, along with one of the most controversial element within the Bill; the banning of union fees being deducted from members wages.
The TUC welcomed government concessions on trade union political funds:
The Trade Union Bill still poses a threat to industrial relations. The TUC will continue to press for further changes to this divisive and unnecessary Bill, and urges MPs to oppose it in its entirety.” said General Secretary Frances O’Grady
Government back-tracking on banning union subscriptions through payroll (the so-called ‘check-off’ system) in the public sector is however, not so simple, because they have already done this in several civil service departments e.g. HMRC The question is, will they now re-instate this facility for PCS members working in this department?
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
She concluded by saying:
Source: TUC / C Ingram (People's MarchPics)