Expect More Union Bashing At Tory Conference

Manchester's Mechanics Institute, venue of the 1st TUC Congress in 1868.

Manchester’s Mechanics Institute, venue of the 1st TUC Congress in 1868.

We can expect more trade union baiting at this years Tory Conference in the birthplace of the trade union movement – Manchester – the TUC was founded at the Mechanics Institute just off Princess Street in 1868.

According to the Evening Standard Tory Party sources say they are considering a wide range of “reforms”, including scrapping check off of subscriptions (deduction of subs straight from workers’ wage packets). The Tory front organisation the Tax Payers’ Alliance are egging on the Tory party claiming that that unions receive subsidies worth some ÂŁ85 million from public bodies.

Among the attacks being considered are:

* Requiring unions to be charged a full commercial rent for using public buildings and facilities.

* Ending the right to free time off for trade union duties, including for officials who work as full-time union officials at the taxpayers’ expense.

* Banning “check-off” of fees from salaries, which some public sector unions use to maintain membership.

* Increasing the threshold before a union can apply for statutory recognition from 10 per cent of a workforce to 30 per cent.

* Insisting that strike ballots do not count unless at least 40 per cent of members vote for it.

* Axing taxpayer funding of the Union Learning Fund, currently ÂŁ15.5 million, which pays for union officials to be trained.

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