This week, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey addressed delegates at the TUC Congress in Brighton, and announced Unite’s intent to oppose and defy the Trade Union Bill by using ‘any means necessary’ to defend the democratic right of the trade union movement and the working people of Britain.
The general secretary’s address came after parliament passed the second reading of the vindictive and ideologically-savage Trade Union Bill, which seeks to attack the trade union movement and its members.
If the Bill passes, the proposed changes include a 50% turnout threshold on strike votes, and double the notice period unions will have to give before holding a strike. Separately the government proposes to allow employers to employ agency workers to break a strike and proposes plans, reminiscent of 1930’s Hitler’s Germany, whereby Trade Union Stewards should identify themselves at a picket by wearing an armband, and any plans for Facebook or Twitter entries should be told to police prior to any industrial action.
Unite has responded by challenging the government to allow us secured, secret workplace ballots (as allowed for recognition applications), in which case the worry about turnout would become a thing of the past, and by rejecting the 1930’s Hitler’s Germany identification of Trade Union members as being an affront to a civilised nation and being an attempt to restrict freedom of speech and freedom of association.
The Trade Union Bill will now be considered by a Public Bill Committee for further scrutiny.