Responding to the news that members of the House of Lords had overturned the government’s efforts to end the practice of check-off, whereby union members can pay their fees via their employer’s payroll, Unite, the UK’s biggest union said that this was very welcome news but called for a rethink on the entire trade union bill.
Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, said: “Of course the announcement that the attacks on check-off will be dropped is very welcome news. It is thanks to the hard work of the unions and the Labour peers that the government has been forced to think again.
“It was absurd that the government was seeking to interfere in the private and amicable arrangements between workers, their employers and their unions.
“Small wonder that union members – millions of ordinary working people – feel needlessly under attack by this government. We still have a bill that will make it harder for UK workers to defend themselves, that undermines the right to strike and establishes an aggressive regulator for a movement that is already the most tightly monitored in the western world.
“We would therefore urge the government not to stop here but to think again on the entire trade union bill for it will set back industrial relations in this country by decades.”
The Lords’ defeat came as the trade union bill continued its passage through the Lords before its return to the Commons, expected next week (27 April).
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Notes to editors:
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.