April 2016 – Trade Union Bill

April 2016 – Trade Union Bill

Thank you for contacting me about the Trade Union Bill.

I recognise that trade unions are valuable institutions in British society and dedicated trade unionists have a strong history of working hard to represent their members, campaigning for improved safety at work and giving support to their members when it’s needed.  I believe it is only fair, however, that the rights of unions are balanced with the rights of hardworking taxpayers who rely on key public services.

The aim of the Bill is to rebalance the interest of employers, employees and the public with the freedom of trade unions to strike. At present, it is the case that a small minority of union members can disrupt the lives of millions of commuters, parents, workers and employers at short notice and without clear support from the unions’ members. Because of the high impact on the normal life on a large group of people, I therefore believe it is completely sensible that such strikes only take place on the basis of a reasonable turnout and substantial vote in favour by those able to vote.

Rest assured, all measures included in the Bill will continue to be debated and fully scrutinised by Parliament before they are passed. I will continue to follow the Bill closely as well as any amendments that are put forward. Interested parties have had plenty of opportunities to put their views forward. I am aware that the Royal College of Nursing, NASUWT, Public and Commercial Services Union, Fire Brigades Union, Royal College of Midwives, GMB, Unite, and Unison have already done so, and I appreciate their engagement and feedback as we work to improve the system for everyone.

Thank you again for taking the time to get in touch.