Sunday 23 November 2008

Manchester Area Activists grapple with MP's stance on anti-union laws

We had our UNITE-Amicus Manchester Area Activists meeting this week. There was a good discussion about the appalling lack of support from MPs for the very limited amendments to Employment Bill. The key vote was on an amendment trying to simplify the labyrinthine requirements on unions when conducting industrial action ballots.

The motion, which will now to to the North West Regional Council, read:

1) This meeting notes that British trade unions have to operate under the most restrictive legal framework in the EU, making it easier for employers to victimise reps, close workplaces, employ casual labour and hold down pay.
2) Working people in this country cannot get fair wages or treatment until they have equal trade union rights with workers in Europe.
3) We are therefore dismayed that only 45 Labour MPs voted for crucial amendments to the trade union bill on 10th November.
4) We therefore call for the union to mount an urgent investigation into those MPs with a UNITE Constituency Development Plan, who did not vote for the amendments, and consideration to be given to severing all links with these people if they cannot give good reason for voting against union policy.
5) We also request that UNITE affiliate to the Institute of Employment Rights which campaigns on these matters.

The embarrassingly short list of the MPs who voted in favour of the amendment is available online. If anyone has a list of those MPs who actually voted against the amendment, that would be really interesting.

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