Usdaw welcomes the TUC General Secretary’s call for an end to tribunal fees

Date: 08 September 2014 Shopworkers trade union leader John Hannett has welcomed a call from Frances O’Grady to end employment tribunal fees in her keynote address to the Trades Union Congress in Liverpool this morning.

Speaking to Congress, Frances O’Grady – TUC General secretary said: ‘Think about that basic principle of democracy: equality before the law.

‘If a burglar robbed your house you wouldn’t be expected to pay upfront for the privilege of seeing him taken to court. So if your boss robs you of holiday pay, why on earth should you have to find more than £1,000 to see justice done in an employment tribunal?

‘It‘s plain wrong that workers are priced out of justice. So – and let’s demand it – we want those employment tribunal fees scrapped, once and for all.’

John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: ‘I am delighted to hear that the TUC is making workers access to justice a campaigning priority.

‘Upfront employment tribunal fees have had a significant effect on the ability of workers to seek justice when they have been treated unfairly by their employers. The Government’s own figures show there has been a dramatic drop in tribunal claims since the introduction of fees.

‘The truth is that most workers who want to seek justice from a bad employer will need the support of their trade union. Usdaw members know that if they ever have the misfortune of needing redress from an employment tribunal, and if their case has reasonable prospects of success, we will support them with legal advice, representation and they will not need to pay the tribunal fees.

‘This Government policy has proved to be unjust and workers should take the message to get protected by joining a trade union.’

Notes for Editors:

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 432,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.

For Usdaw press releases visit: www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers