Unite Wales has today welcomed the cross party support for the Welsh government’s Legislative Consent Motion against the UK government’s Trade Union bill. Following a debate in the Welsh Assembly, the motion was voted against by a majority.
Assembly members were deciding whether to give their consent for the UK government’s controversial Trade Union bill to be applied in Welsh public services.
Andy Richards, Unite Wales secretary, commented:
“I’m glad that the Welsh Labour government’s motion has received cross party support. The Trade Union bill is a vindictive and divisive piece of legislation which puts to bed the myth that the UK Tory government is on the side of working people.
"This bill is easily the most significant and sustained attack on trade union members in a generation and we are bitterly disappointed, yet not surprised, that the Welsh Conservatives voted in favour the motion. Indeed the disgraceful comments of the Welsh Conservative leader in the Senedd today demonstrate his clear contempt with which he views the trade union movement.
"The TUC’s legal opinion rightly highlights how clauses 3, 12, 13 and 14 of the bill have implications on Wales as a devolved nation.
"The bill has the potential to cause significant damage to Wales’ social and economic fabric. Unite has grave concerns that proposals such as removing the ban on the use of agency workers during industrial action are dangerous. They would be socially divisive, lead to unnecessary confrontation between employers and workers, and ultimately undermine public services.
"The Welsh government has worked hard to promote a constructive frame work around industrial relation in Wales. The Trade Union bill will likely result in more, not less, industrial action, as the provisions risk extending disputes and making it more difficult to reach settlements.
"Perversely the Trade Union bill also seeks to establish thresholds for strike ballots that half the Tory Cabinet didn’t even reach at the 2015 general election.
"Today’s vote sends a clear and loud message to David Cameron. Respect the will of our Welsh Assembly and don’t try and force on our country a bill that is unpopular, divisive and ultimately bad for Wales.”
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