Unite and the Labour Group at Luton Borough Council jo...

Unite and the Labour group at Luton borough council join forces to oppose Trade Union bill

23 November 2015

Britain’s biggest union, Unite, and the Labour group at Luton borough council (LBC) will unite to press the council to declare its outright opposition to the union-bashing Trade Union bill when the full council meets in January.

Unite and the Labour group at LBC have joined forced because they are deeply concerned that the government’s divisive proposals -which have attracted widespread criticism from former business secretary Vince Cable to the police - will pollute otherwise positive industrial relations and leave the workers of Luton among the worst protected in the western world. 

Unite, which represents 230 members at LBC, and the majority-Labour controlled council will be urging Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors to declare that the Trade Union bill is not welcome in Luton, warning that the bill is bad for workers and employers alike. 

The Labour group at LBC will table a motion at the next full council meeting in January 2016, calling on the council to declare its outright opposition to the government’s Trade Union bill and its ideologically driven attack on workers’ rights and freedoms. 

Labour leader of the council Cllr Hazel Simmons said: “Labour opposes the Trade Union bill - it is a divisive piece of legislation and is a sustained and partisan attack on all trade union members in this country. Luton borough council has an excellent working relationship with all the recognised trade unions within the council, including Unite the union, and we welcome the positive role they play in industrial relations.”

Richard Gates, Unite regional officer, said: “The Tories’ Trade Union bill is bad for the workers of Luton. It diminishes their rights at work and restricts the ability of their union to help them fight against mistreatment. It is bad for employers, polluting otherwise positive industrial relations. It is ill-befitting a modern economy, which is why we must oppose it, as quite simply it will leave the workers of Luton open to abuse. 

“There is no case for this shabby bill whatsoever. From Vince Cable to the police, government advisors and human rights’ organisations all say it is unnecessary, malicious and counter-productive. 

“The Tories cannot pose as the party of working people and then back measures that reduce Luton’s workers to some of the worst protected in the Western world. The government needs to stop painting trade unions and our six million members as the enemy within and start recognising the invaluable contribution we make to industrial relations in every sector of the economy.” 

The Trade Union bill has been debated in the House of Commons and on Thursday 11 November had its first reading in the House of Lords. The union said the bill is a missed opportunity for the government to modernise trade union balloting, building on the proposals of the previous business secretary Vince Cable to develop secure workplace voting and developing mechanisms that already exist for union recognition ballots. – See more on the campaign at: 


For more information please contact, Unite regional officer, Richard Gates on 07980 721 414

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: 

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey