Your rights as a trade union member are under threat.
The Trade Union Bill is already making its way through Parliament. It’s a direct attack on ordinary trade union members across the country.
In it, there are measures that would:
Make it much harder for trade union members to take industrial action. No one wants to go on strike but sometimes members need to take that action as a last resort – it’s our right to do so. This bill would make it legal to bring in agency workers to replace those taking industrial action – something even Thatcher stopped short of. It will also make us meet turnout thresholds that the Tories have plucked from thin air. The government say this is about ‘modernisation’ but if that’s the case they would introduce online and workplace balloting. Needless to say that’s not on the table.
Impose ridiculous restrictions and red tape on us. They government plan to introduce a new watchdog for trade unions that will have sweeping powers and on top of that they want to make us pay for the privilege. They want picket supervisors to be made to hand their details to the police and for us to give details of our plans to strike, protest and even whether we’ll use social media 14 days in advance of any industrial action.
Make it harder to collect subs. Many union members have their subs deducted straight from their wage packets in what is called ‘check off’, the union even pays for that service in many cases. The government plan to end it in public services.
These are just some of the plans the government is rushing through Parliament. The Bill covers everything from facility time to our political fund.
Whether your MP agrees with the union on policy or not, this is about the basic right of working people to take strike action when there is no other option. Don’t let the government take that right away.
GMB General Secretary
PS – the General Secretary ballot closes on November 11th. Everyone should have received their ballot paper by now (it was in your GMB magazine). If you haven’t received your ballot paper, get in touch with our National Returning Officer by emailing NPO@gmb.org.uk.
Posted: 4th November 2015