As the government attempts to rush through the unnecessary and unpopular Trade Union Bill, the IER and the Campaign for Trade Union Freedom have released a new YouTube clip and two new publications to inform the debate. In the video, Professor Keith Ewing and John Hendy QC explain the content and expose the purpose of the Bill.
John Hendy QC says:
This Bill is an attack on the rights of unions having an industrial voice. It also aims to exclude unions from having a political voice as well as an effective voice in civil society. “Modern economists have pointed out that high levels of collective bargaining and high levels of workplace rights actually are conducive to a good economy […] this bill is shooting the economy in the foot.” The bill can be considered “illegal in the sense that these proposals are in breach of international treaties which Britain has ratified and therefore in breach of international law.”
Professor Keith Ewing says:
This bill is “the most serious attack on trade union freedom in a generation.” In particular it is “a massive attack on public sector trade unionism” in 3 ways: “one attacking financial security, two attacking workplace representation and thirdly attacking the right to strike.” This Bill represents “a serious attack on the human rights and civil liberties of trade unions and on the right to freedom of political expression.” It is “an extraordinary step backwards into the middle ages in terms of constitutional principle”