UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Osborne declares war on trade unions

As befits the Chancellor of a Government made up of the rich, which seeks to give more power and wealth to the rich, it is no surprise that George Osborne MP presented an anti union, anti worker, class war prospectus to the annual convention of the Institute of Directors in London yesterday: http://www.businesszone.co.uk/topic/business-trends/george-osbornes-institute-directors-speech-full/34860

Osborne delivered a speech full of military metaphors including the following call to arms to the well heeled business elite::

“There is one more thing that I will say.

Delivering this will not be easy.

The forces of stagnation will try to stand in the way of the forces of enterprise.

For every line item of public spending, there will be a union defending it.

For every regulation on business, a pressure group to defend it.

Your voice, the voice of business, needs to go on being heard in the battle.

Let me give just one example of an issue which businesses have raised with me many times over the years – the costly impact of our employment laws and regulations.

For many years, no Minister was willing to tackle this issue and make the argument that yes, employees have rights and they should be respected, but what about the right to get a job?

What about the right to start a business and not be sued out of existence or drowned by paperwork?

Well, this Government has had the courage to answer those questions.

Not only did Vince Cable announce earlier this year that there will be fees and reforms to deter vexatious claims at employment tribunals.

I can tell you today that the Government will publish a detailed timetable for the wholesale review of employment law in this country.

It includes plans to:

Review the unlimited penalties currently applied in discrimination Employment Tribunals;

Simplify the administration of the national minimum wage;

Review the TUPE regulations;

And reform the consultation period for collective redundancies;

Some of these may be controversial. Unions and interest groups may oppose them.

So I say to the business community – to all of you in this room – don’t be passive observers.

Don’t stay on the sidelines. Get stuck into the argument and support us in making the case for growth.”