Lesley Brennan

Trade Union Bill : Embarrassment for and Hypocrisy from the Tories


2 October 2015

When a Right Wing organisation such as The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) headlines an article on its blog as :

“The Trade Union Bill is mostly pointless politicking”

and when it says that “It looks suspiciously like part of the political game” then it shows that the Tory government's Bill can upset even its expected warmest supporters.

There is further embarrassment for the Tory Government in the agreement between the IEA and the view of Tory MP David Davies :

“David Davis has rightly pointed out that the requirements to give the names of pickets to the police, to require armbands to be worn and so on looks like something practised by foreign dictators”

At the other end of the political spectrum, the TUC have highlighted another Tory restriction on unions – forbidding union members to vote online in strike ballots.

The unions want to hold these online ballots to increase participation in the vote, but the Tories claim that these digital ballots are “not safe”.

At the same time, however, the Tories have just selected their own candidate for the election of Mayor of London next year, Zac Goldsmith – allowing their members to use an online ballot, and so deserving the TUC charge of "hypocrisy"

The Tory Government has had a choice – to pursue the negative, to continue with austerity and make life much more difficult for trade unions to perform their perfectly legitimate business in the pursuit of better working conditions for their members

– or

to pursue the positive, by joining with the unions to build on the unions’ well-known role of promoting economic growth by raising wages and reducing inequality.

The Tories have chosen the negative and all of its consequences such as an underperforming economy that features underemployment and zero-hours contracts.

They prefer to turn their backs on the unions and attempt instead to weaken the bargaining capability that unions possess.

The intentions of the Bill are examined in the video below


It comes from the Institute for Employment Rights (link >) which is a Labour Movement think-tank, and features John Hendy, its chair, who is a barrister who specialises in employment matters and Professor Keith Ewing (link >)