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Disgraced Tory MPs use flawed research to attack union reps

Disgraced right wing MPs are exposed today as using flawed research to launch an ideological attack on trade union representatives.

New analysis published by the Trades Union Congress shows that for every £1 spent on having union reps in public sector workplaces, up to £9 is returned in benefits to the wider economy.

This 'facility time' - used by reps to negotiate terms and conditions for workers, help ensure workplaces are healthy and safe, and assist staff with training and development - is highly-valued by employers.

The TUC report also shows failings in figures relied on by a group calling itself the Trade Union Reform Campaign - headed by disgraced Tory MP Aidan Burley.

Far from costing taxpayers money, the report 'Facility time for union reps: separating fact from fiction' (pdf) says that reps could be worth between £267 million and £701 million a year to our economy.

Benefits arise through: lower staff turnover; fewer workplace-related injuries and sickness; and fewer employment tribunals.

Mr Burley was sacked from his post as a parliamentary aide to the transport secretary after he reportedly hired an SS costume and attended a Nazi-themed stag party in France.

Liam Fox MP, who is helping to lead the campaign in parliament, was forced to resign in October from his post as defence secretary following revelations that he gave his friend Adam Werritty unprecedented access to official meetings, with serious questions raised about the funding of Mr Werritty's trips.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "Our reps work incredibly hard on behalf of our members, often in their own time and for no personal reward other than to help their colleagues and their employer, and I am proud of every one of them.

"The truth is that, if they got their way, these discredited MPs leading a purely politically motivated campaign would damage our economy to the tune of hundreds of millions of pounds a year."

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