Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says:
“This anti-union legislation means that when workers democratically vote to strike, they could be forced to work and sacked if they don’t. That is undemocratic, unworkable and almost certainly illegal. We are also staggered that the Tories have chosen to unjustifiably fast-track the legislation through the House of Commons, so that it won’t receive the necessary scrutiny and MPs won’t hear important evidence from those affected.
“This is a direct attack on working people’s fundamental right to strike to defend their pay and other terms and conditions. Going on strike is always a last resort for any worker. However, the threat of strike action helps to focus the minds of employers on reaching an agreement in negotiations. It is essential that we protect the right to strike.
“So we urge MPs to vote against the anti-strike law being debated in the House of Commons today. The Government needs to be told that they should be focussed on negotiating settlements and promoting good and fair industrial relations; not undermining workers’ rights with unwanted legislation.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)
is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with around 360,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades.
TUC petition can be signed at: www.megaphone.org.uk/petitions/protect-the-right-to-strike
TUC protect the right to strike campaign: www.tuc.org.uk/ProtectRightToStrike
Labour’s New Deal for Workers: www.usdaw.org.uk/LaboursNDW
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news
and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion