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“Tories Declare War on the Trade Union Movement”

Hull Red Labour Responds to Green Paper Announcement on Trade Union Reform


After the working week are you looking forward to the weekend? Did you enjoy that last day off you had or perhaps you are currently on parental leave? Maybe you are a pensioner or receiving support whilst recovering from illness. Trade Unions are responsible for these benefits as well as playing a key role in founding the NHS and the Welfare State. The reason that we have much safer work places and a national minimum wage is the hard work put in by Trade Unions over the last century and more.

Today the Tory Government has shown its true colours regarding what they think of Trade Unions. They are publishing a new Trade Union Bill today (15th July)

Measures include laws which will ban strikes unless ballot turnout reaches 50 per cent. Ballots involving so-called “essential services” — the railways, hospitals, schools and fire brigades — will be declared invalid unless 40 per cent of eligible workers vote yes.

Even when ballots meet the government’s new thresholds, employers will soon be able to break strikes by bringing in agency workers who themselves have little or no choice over where they spend each precious working day.

This from a Government that only secured 24% of the vote in the recent general election.

The Tories are trying to smash the trade unions because they know we are the only thing that stands between them, the class they represent and a return to Victorian values.

Cameron talks a lot about, “flexible” working practices. This is code for extending zero hours contracts to include all new workers, not paying people for holidays and not making employers pay women on maternity leave. Anyone who goes to work and cares about fair pay, holiday pay and pension rights will suffer if the Tories get their way. Young workers will be especially hard hit as employers will assume that they are less likely to know their rights.

Trade Unions are there to prevent strikes by negotiating with employers. The vast majority of Trade Union members have never been on strike for this reason.

Hull Red Labour believes in a strong Trade Union Movement where its leaders continue to be accountable to their members and where the voice of the members drives the path followed by the leaders.

A recent investigation showed that 1 in 4 youngsters had experienced bullying at work and 53% of workers fear that they can’t support their family on their current wages. This is why Unions are a vital part of our democratic society and we call on Cameron to scrap this legislation and instead talk to the Trade Unions about how workers lives can be improved.

Cameron’s policy is driven by ideology and Hull Red Labour believes it is sheer hypocrisy for Cameron the claim that the Tories are the Workers Party when he is prepared to launch a politically motivated attack on a movement with such a proud record.



About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.


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