Trade Union Bill

I strongly oppose this Government’s Trade Union Bill because it undermines the basic protections that trade unions provide for people at work.

Trade unions are an important part of an open, democratic society. I am very concerned, therefore, that the Government’s Bill seeks simply to weaken trade unions rather than to work with them in order to help boost economic efficiency and tackle Britain’s major economic challenges including our worrying productivity gap and skills shortages.

I have met with many trade unions and trade unionists in the constituency and in Parliament to listen to their views.

Like them, I also fear this Bill risks driving a false wedge between government, industry, employees and the public by severely restricting the rights of ordinary working people to challenge important workplace issues such as low pay or health and safety concerns. As a result, this Bill could damage industrial relations and make it harder to prevent the strike action and disruption that we all want to avoid.

You can read some of the things I have said about the Bill here.

That is why I voted against this Bill in the House of Commons. The Bill passed its Third Reading on the November 10 and has progressed to the House of Lords, where I hope substantial changes and improvements can be made to it in order to protect workers’ rights.

I know from the number of e-mails and letters I have received that many constituents share my concerns about this Bill. I hope the Government finally listen to these views as the Bill progresses through its remaining stages.