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MPs should reject “cynical and ideological” anti-union rules, TUC urges
The TUC is calling on MPs to reject “cynical and ideological anti-union rules”, as the Commons debates and votes on new legislation which will hit trade unions with huge new levies and fines.
The government proposals would impose a significant levy on trade unions to cover the costs of the Certification Officer (the trade union regulator) and allow five-figure fines for breaches of complicated trade union laws.
The TUC says that this approach to the trade union regulator is out of step with other comparable regulators – pointing out that political parties don't fund the Electoral Commission and charities don't fund the Charity Commission.
The union body adds there is “no case” for huge financial penalties for statutory breaches.
In the last financial year, the Certification Officer dealt with just 34 complaints – one for every 200,000 union members - and not one of the complaints resulted in an enforcement order requiring a union to take action.
The legislation would also allow non-members to make complaints to the Certification Officer about trade unions, which the TUC warns could lead to “vexatious complaints” from employers or inconvenienced members of the public – particularly during an industrial dispute.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady recently said:
“Up and down the country, working people are feeling the pinch as household bills surge and the cost of living crisis takes its toll.
“But rather than dealing with the problems working people face, the government is trying to tie unions up in more red tape.
“It is telling of the government’s real concerns that they choose to spend valuable parliamentary time on new anti-union rules.
“Now is the time to be working with unions, not undermining them. Around the world – from New Zealand to the US – governments are recognising the benefits of collective bargaining.
“That’s why MPs should reject these cynical and ideological proposals – and instead join with unions and their members in delivering better pay and conditions for working people in every corner of the country.”
- The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together the 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.
TUC press office
020 7467 1248
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