Lewisham Labour Group took a stand against the Tory government’s damaging Trade Union Bill at last night’s Council Meeting.
In the motion proposed by Mayor Steve Bullock and seconded by Lord Roy Kennedy, the Council raised its concern about the bill currently being forced through by the Tory government.
The Trade Union Bill is an ideological and partisan attack on working people. The bill is unnecessary, unfair and unjust. Levels of industrial action are at historic lows. It will undermine the ability of Trade Unions to protect their workers and weaken the collective bargaining of working people. The Trade Union Bill threatens the right to strike – a fundamental right – and it undermines local democracy by allowing central government to mandate how long Lewisham Council works with trade unions locally.
Trade Unions play a vital role in protecting working people and promoting fairness at work. Trade Unions have campaigned to improve rights at work, from health and safety, to limits on working time; from paid leave, to the minimum wage. Trade unions help
promote equality by improving pay and conditions for ordinary working people.The motion to council resolved to seek to continue the council’s own locally agreed industrial relations strategy, as well as voicing our opposition to the Trade Union Bill and the undermining of the ability of trade unions to represent their members.
Councillor Paul Bell said ; 'I welcome Lewisham Council’s position against the appalling and undemocratic Tory Trade Union Bill. Trade union members are ordinary people, many of whom are low paid women. This Bill does nothing for equality and everything for eroding fairness.'
Lord Roy Kennedy, Councillor for Crofton Park said 'the Trade Union Bill is a political attack on both the trade unions and the Labour Party that will undermine good industrial relations and create tensions where they do not exist. No government should be legislating in such a biased and partisan way.'