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

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Tory Ministers play to the right wing gallery

Few trade unionists were deceived back in 2009 when David Cameron's 'envoy' to the trade union movement Richard Balfe claimed that employment law in the UK was now a "matter of national consensus. After 11 years of Labour, the Thatcher legislation remains on statute. We have no plans for any major labour law reform" http://www.personneltoday.com/articles/2009/01/15/48985/interview-richard-balfe-conservative-trade-union-envoy.html

True to form, this year's Tory Party conference has seen an offensive launched against the trade union rights of workplace representatives in the public sector - "the support they get from the taxpayer has got way out of hand. We can't go on like this. That's why I'm announcing today that we're consulting on limiting the time civil servants can spend on trade union work, and on ending the employment of full-time union officials at the taxpayer's expense" said Cabinet Officer Francis Maude taking his cue from theTax Dodgers Alliance.

Not to be outdone, Communities & Local Government Minister Eric Pickles said "Labour is in hock to the unions. If unions want to raise money for Labour, do it in your own time, not on the rates. We're going to call time on this last closed shop" - showing the same scant regard for facts as the neo-fascist bloggers who are pulling the strings on this issue at Conservative Central Office.

These threats should not be underestimated but nor should they be taken lying down. Facilities for worker representatives are enshrined in international laws, notably ILO Conventions 135 and 151 - ironically both were ratified by past Tory Governments.

A TUC led campaign to resist these unprecedented attacks on our workplace rights.is urgently required.