By Amy Jackson, Unite Political Department
The Transparency of Lobbying, Third Party Funding and Trade Union Administration Bill is currently making its way through the House of Lords. The Bill has been widely condemned by organisations ranging from lobbyists, campaigners, charities and trade unions. Even the business-led Regulatory Policy Committee has called for it to be withdrawn.
Part 2 of this ‘Lobbying Bill’ would all but silence campaigners, including much-loved charities and community groups, for the entire year before a general election. Due to mass opposition from the public, charities, campaigning groups, NGOs and trade unions, the government has been forced to ‘pause’ the Bill for 5 weeks, cynically timing it to be back in the Lords just 2 days before the House rises for Christmas.
This pause means that Part 3 of the Bill, which places new and sinister restrictions on trade unions, has been brought forward to Monday 11th November. We don’t have much time.
Despite no reported problems whatsoever, Part 3 places further regulations on trade union membership, regardless of the strong legal duties already in place. These new proposals jeopardise the confidentiality of trade union membership, with new powers being given to the government-appointed certification officer to access any trade union membership records. The blacklisting scandal proves how widespread the discrimination of trade union members is, and how vital it is that confidentiality must be protected. In a climate in which trade unions are under constant attack, and where the full extent of blacklisting is still yet to be uncovered, we cannot trust the government to use these new powers responsibly.
We need to act now. Please help ensure the Lords are ready on Monday to defeat Part 3. Adopt a Peer and urge them to attend the debate next week.
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