I spoke against the undemocratic and draconian Trade Union Bill at its second reading on the 14th of September. I can assure you that my colleagues and I will continue vigorously to oppose this bill at its third reading tomorrow. This action, designed by the Conservative Government, seeks to deprive workers of their basic rights, rights which were hard won over the past 100 years. We will do our utmost to prevent this bill from becoming law.
The Bill threatens the right to pursue industrial disputes by legitimate means and the right to organise and to bargain collectively. We are also opposed to restrictions on Trade Unions using social media and support the usage of safe and secure online voting to maximise participation as well as changes to regulations regarding agency workers. Ultimately the proposed Bill places unreasonable restrictions on the rights of trade unions and their members.
Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training Roseanna Cunningham MSP has written to UK Ministers seeking information and a discussion about the provisions of the Trade Union Bill and how they can protect Scotland’s distinct approach to industrial relations. Scottish Ministers will continue to put forward the view that it should be the prerogative of Scottish Ministers to decide on check-off and facility time in Scotland.
The SNP is determined to stand up for social justice and progressive policies in this parliament for the whole of the UK. We also feel strongly that the best means of protecting the rights of workers in Scotland is for trade union legislation to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament.