Trade Union Bill ‘climb down’ by UK Government

Written by Tom Freeman on 28 April 2016 in News

Abolition of 'check-off' abandoned by Conservatives as amendments from Lords debated in House of Commons

The Conservative Government has made some concessions to its controversial Trade Union Bill during debate in the Commons last night.

The legislation has been accused of an attempt to weaken workers’ rights and reduce funding for the Labour party.

Amendments from the Lords included abandoning the abolition of ‘check-off’, when trade union subscriptions are deducted automatically from salaries.


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Instead, check-off will be allowed to continue if a trade union meets the administrative costs.

Plans to enforce electronic voting in decisions on strikes have been delayed.

Shadow business minister Kevin Brennan said the opposition had managed to remove “some of the most pernicious parts” of the bill.

The SNP's Christopher Stephens said the bill was “unnecessary and unwanted”, while Liberal Democrat Greg Mulholland said it was “clearly a cynical attack on the main source of funding for the Labour Party”.

This morning STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith warned opposition to the bill would continue.

“This latest climb down is a testament to the strength of the campaigning by unions to protect their members’ rights and further exposes the lack of democracy at the heart of the government approach,” he said.

“Despite today's concessions significant threats to the right to take industrial action and to unions ability to organise remain in the bill. The STUC is committed to fighting every clause. If the bill does become law, the STUC will continue to work with the Scottish Government and across political parties to frustrate the implementation of the bill.”

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