CTUF AGM 2017 Details

The  CTUF AGM 2017 will be at 11 am on Saturday, 2nd September at Meeting Room 3/4 at the ground floor Unite, 128 Theobalds Road, London, WC1X 8TN.

Please put this date in your diary and we look forward to seeing you there.

 

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Unite secures landmark holiday pay ruling

Unite has today (Monday 31 July) called on employers to urgently get their ‘house in order’ over holiday pay after it secured a landmark legal victory meaning employers must now include voluntary overtime in holiday pay calculations.

Today’s decision by the employment appeal tribunal on an appeal by Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council is the first to confirm that payments for entirely voluntary duties, such as voluntary overtime, standby, call-out work and travel-time linked to that work, should be included in the calculation of workers’ holiday pay.

It builds on a previous ground breaking case taken by Unite legal services in 2014 that resulted in a separate employment appeal tribunal ruling covering holiday pay for workers who are contractually obliged to do overtime.

Today’s ruling is of major significance to workers nationally, many of whom receive payments for voluntary duties while working, but do not receive those payments when they take holiday. It sets a legal binding precedent which employment tribunals across the UK are obliged to follow.

The case against Dudley council involved 56 Unite members employed by the council as tradesmen, including plumbers, electricians and carpenters, working on maintaining Dudley’s housing stock.

They worked regular overtime, including on Saturdays, on a purely voluntary basis. They also elected to go on a standby rota every four weeks to deal with emergency call-outs and repairs.

In some cases their earnings for this additional voluntary work amounted to around £6,000 a year on top of their basic salary. While they would receive these payments while working, these amounts were not included in their holiday pay. The underpayments of holiday pay suffered by each claimant varied depending on how much voluntary work they performed between around £350 and £1,500 per year.

Commenting, Unite assistant general secretary for legal services Howard Beckett, said: “Today’s landmark victory further clarifies the law on holiday pay and is of major significance to workers across the UK. It means employers must now include all earnings, including payments for voluntary duties and overtime, in calculating holiday pay.
 
“The ruling means unscrupulous employers no longer have carte blanche to fix artificially low levels of ‘basic’ hours and then contend the rest of time was ‘voluntary’ overtime that did not have to be paid in respect of annual leave.
 
“Unite will be liaising with Dudley council and its legal team over reaching a satisfactory settlement for our members. In the meantime we would urge other employers who have been fleecing workers of their holiday pay to get their house in order or face legal action.
 
“Once again Unite legal services has shown that it pays to be a member of Unite and that it will leave no stone unturned in ensuring our members are not short-changed. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank law firm OH Parsons and Michael Ford QC and Mark Whitcomb from Old Square Chambers for pursuing the case on behalf of Unite legal services.”

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ISDS Court Deals Blow To Argentinian Airline Nationalisation

The Campaign For Trade Union Freedom has long warned of the Investor State Dispute Settlement clauses in the new generation of trade deals including trade deals under negotiation. Now one of the most astonishing rulings made by a secret ISDS court has come to light.

The Argentinian airline Aerolinis Argentinos which was nationalised by the Argentinitan government has been the subject of an ISDS case and it’s outcome should worry trade unions and democrats.

The following article is from the website Portside written by David Dayen

A company that specialises in bank rolling lawsuits has won a huge payday from the government of Argentina, in one of the biggest examples of financiers using the secret courts embedded in trade agreements as casinos.

Burford Capital, the world’s largest firm for “litigation finance,” will earn $140 million on a $13 million investment in an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) case against Argentina over the nationalization of Aerolineas Argentinas, the nation’s flagship airline. The case was brought under Argentina’s bilateral investment treaty with Spain; the investors in the airline were Spanish.

Under ISDS, part of over 3,000 trade agreements worldwide, corporations can sue governments for changes in law or regulation that violate trade agreements, and win awards equaling “expected future profits” they might have otherwise gained. The idea was to protect investors from seizure of assets, outside the court system of the offending government. But instead of helping companies resolve legitimate disputes over seized assets, ISDS has increasingly become a means for rich investors to speculate on lawsuits, winning huge awards and forcing local taxpayers to foot the bill.

Donald Trump did not seek to eliminate ISDS in his negotiating objectives for reimagining NAFTA. He will only try to add some transparency mechanisms, such as making hearings and final rulings publicly available. The Burford Capital award reveals why that is wholly inadequate.

In 2010, investors with three insolvent affiliates of the Spanish travel firm Marsans filed an ISDS claim, arguing that Argentina forcibly expropriated the national airlines from them, first by restricting fare prices and finally by passing a law forcing a sale for $1. Argentina said it nationalized the airlines because they were mismanaged and deeply in debt, and paid no money in the sale because they were functionally worthless.

Investors sought $1.6 billion in the case, but in a 400-page ruling, the ISDS tribunal issued $324 million in awards. While the tribunal didn’t agree that Argentina unnecessarily restricted fares (in fact, there were two fare hikes allowed in 2008), it ruled by a 2-1 count that Argentina did partially violate the investment terms with Spain.

Burford agreed in 2010 to pay $13 million in legal fees for the case, in exchange for a cut of any judgment. The firm now stands to take home over 40 percent of the award.

“We are very pleased with this result and are gratified to see justice done for Teinver and its stakeholders,” said Christopher Bogart, Burford’s CEO, in a statement. “Without Burford’s capital, it is doubtful that this kind of recovery could have been obtained for the claimants.”

Burford will make over 10 times their initial investment, despite never having been investors in the underlying business. While ISDS tribunals were supposed to be a venue of last resort for corporations wronged in a foreign jurisdiction, they now serve as a playground where investors with no connection to the initial investment can get rich.

This kind of speculation, known as champerty under English common law, was once illegal. But rebranded litigation finance, it has spread across the globe in the past 50 years, serving as an attractive vehicle for hedge funds, private equity firms, and institutional investors.

At least 16 ISDS cases have featured third-party funding between 2009 and 2015, according to a report from Jean-Christophe Honlet, a partner at the global law firm Dentons.

But it’s likely that far more third-party funding is being used. The International Council for Commercial Arbitration suggests that at least 60 percent of ISDS cases “enquired about (but not necessarily sought or obtained) third-party funding before their cases were lodged.”

Only the richest of elites can access this investment opportunity. It’s a transfer of wealth upward, from local taxpayers to financial operators. And most often, vulnerable countries are the ones targeted. In fact, no country has been sued more in ISDS tribunals than Argentina. As of January, of the 767 ISDS cases in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) database, at least 59 were brought against that one country. Argentina has paid out $980 million in ISDS awards since 2002, in addition to the millions it spent to defend itself in arbitration.

This isn’t the only way financiers have manipulated ISDS courts. In multiple cases, hedge funds have bought companies simply so they could file claims against host governments for staggering sums.

We only know about Burford’s role in this ISDS claim because of a bankruptcy proceeding in Spain involving the former Argentine airline investors. Trump’s proposal for NAFTA’s ISDS chapter might change that, by adding more public access to proceedings. However, the special courts themselves would remain, and continue to serve as a potential money-making engine for the wealthy, rather than the initial purpose of protecting foreign investors.

Jared Bernstein, former chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden, has proposed that investors self-insure against losses, which is the only option for most ordinary people assuming financial risk. “The obvious solution is for the investors to put their skin, not ours, in the game,” Bernstein said last year.

Burford Capital stressed that the ruling “does not necessarily mean that this amount will actually be paid in full, or at all.” The award could be overturned, though that is unlikely, or Argentina could refuse to pay.

David Dayen is a contributor to The Intercept, and also writes for Salon, the Fiscal Times, the New Republic, and more.

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Dave Prentis: We have won a moral struggle to end the tax on justice

Dave Prentis

Today’s supreme court ruling (July 26th 2017) is the most significant judicial intervention in the history of British employment law. This result is a massive win for our union and a massive win for all workers, whether they’re Unison members or not.

Working people who need protection the most – low-paid workers, the vulnerable and those treated poorly by their employers – were denied access to justice by employment tribunal fees.

The government infringed EU law, constitutional law and even the Magna Carta with a piece of legislation explicitly designed to deny working people their rights.

Today, the supreme court has righted a terrible wrong and sided with those the government sought to silence. This ruling shows that rights are only meaningful if they can be upheld – that’s a principle with significant implications for all of our protections as we head towards Brexit.

This result has been a long time coming and has involved years of hard work. Our challenge to the then coalition government – including the Liberal Democrats and their so-called progressive values – was of course legal. It was also a moral struggle – one of those moments where something is so clearly and blatantly unjust that it is imperative to challenge it by any means possible.

The government’s attacks on public service employees as a result of austerity had already hit Unison members hard in terms of pay, jobs and services – to then turn on their right to legal recourse was the final straw.

I knew as soon as the legislation was introduced that our union had to take a stand, especially when it had such a clear and direct discriminatory impact upon our million women members.

Back then I promised Unison members at our conference that we’d take this fight to the highest court in the land to fight for their rights. Today we can say that we did that, we fought, and we won.

I made a promise to our union that whatever it took – however many years and whatever the cost – I wanted our union to take this case. This was more than a legal case – it was a moral case.

Doing so has been a hard slog and a huge financial investment for Unison, but it has been worth every penny. I am so proud of our union –  and in particular of our union’s legal team, who have worked tirelessly to achieve this incredible result. Their skill and dedication has once again secured a huge win for working people everywhere.

Of course, as well as being a day of celebration, today is also a time for reflection. We will never know just how many people were stopped from taking legal cases as a result of employment tribunal fees. We will never know how many people have been denied access to justice and to legal recourse.

Their stories may remain untold and their rights unprotected. Likewise, there are those who have been forced to pay employment tribunal fees who will now demand those fees are returned to them. We will work with them to ensure the government cough up and admit they were wrong – legally and morally.

Today’s result should bring to an end the cruel employment tribunal fees regime, and ensure that no-one else is ever forced to pay crippling fees just to access basic justice. But it is also a reminder of the importance of trade unions in fighting for all of our rights, and the importance of a legal system that allows us to stand with our members, and win for our members.

Dave Prentis is general secretary of Unison.

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Mary Turner: A Giant Of The Trade Union Movement

By Peta Steel

Mary Turner, one of the most dynamic women members of the trade union movement rose from being a school dinner lady to becoming a Trade Union National President. A hugely popular figure, Turner established a reputation as someone who wasn’t scared of standing up for the rights of those she worked alongside or represented, including hungry children. She also sat on the Labour Party’s National Executive. Tim Roache, General Secretary of the General and Municipal Workers worked closely with her: ‘The word giant is sometimes overused, but in the case of Mary she really was a true giant of our movement.’

Turner nee O’Brien was born in 1938 in Tipperary, Ireland moving to Kilburn in North London when she was 12, where she attended the local Secondary Modern. Her father was a trade unionist, asking Mary when she was 16 and just starting her first job, whether she had joined a trade union; she had, it was the Tailor and Garment Workers Union, joined, whilst working as a bookkeeper at Jackson’s Tailors on Oxford Street. She later worked in the printing industry, serving as SOGAT Mother of Chapel before taking time off to bring up her two children. She had met and married Denny in 1956, six weeks after meeting him. He died in 2015 and they are survived by their son John and daughter Denise)

In 1970 Turner returned to work, this time as a dinner lady in Brent having joined the GMB in 1969. She made her name and reputation as someone who wasn’t scared on taking on the authorities as she organised the poorly paid, untrained, badly treated female workers.   Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn recalled meeting her at that time: ‘Mary was such a great campaigner for people.’

Shocked at not only seeing hungry children but also those being stigmatised having to queue separately for free school meals; she began what became a life time’s campaign to get free school meals for all. Later as chair of the Labour Party’s Policy Forum, working with Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls she would get the party to adopt it as policy, and incorporated in its Manifesto. Elected a member of the GMB’s Central Executive Council in 1983, she was at that time, the only woman out of 40 to serve on it. In 1997, she was elected as National President of the Union, a position she was repeatedly re- elected to. She was still serving as President when she died and was in charge at this year’s conference in June, putting people in their place and encouraging others, just as she had normally done.

Turner fought injustice wherever she saw it. Nothing was beyond her skills, from feeding 600 young marchers taking part in the People’s March for Jobs in the 1980s, helping out in the Steel Strike to taking on the National Front; always working to help low paid workers and to make sure their interests were looked after.

A lifelong member of the Labour Party, she was elected onto the NEC in 1995, serving as its chair in 2003/4. A delegate to the TUC she spoke at every congress and in 2012 received the TUC Women’s Gold Badge. She also received an MBE and a CBE. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady paying tribute to Turner described her as ‘A true champion of free school meals and a fighter to the end.’

 

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CTUF At Tolpuddle

The CTUF Fringe Meeting held at Tolpuddle attracted a full house with speakers reporting that festival goers spilled outside of the marquee for the duration of the fringe. Speakers this year included Professor Keith Ewing who is the President of the Institute of Employment Rights and CTUF, CTUF’s Adrian Weir, Chrstine Blower from Workplace 2020, Joe Galazka Unite Regional Officer, Morning Star Editor Ben Chacko with Unite Regional Secretary Peter Hughes in the chair.

 

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Taylor Review : Class Panel Says It’s A ‘Missed Opportunity”

The Taylor Review into modern employment practices was roundly dismissed as a ‘missed opportunity’ by a panel put togther by CLASS – the Centre For Labour And Social Studies.

Trade unions across the UK as well as the TUC were highly critical of the report which failed to deal with issues such as protection for ‘gig workers’, banning zero hours contracts and protecting agency workers. Only a reference to changing the ‘Swedish Derogatation’ which is being misused by employers and employment agencies employers found some favour although it is not clear what will be propsed to put right the derogations misue.

A panel assembeled by CLASS gave the organisation their views on the Matthew Taylor’s review.

Sally Hunt, University and College Union (UCU) General Secretary:

This report offers warm words for people on casual contracts, but it’s tinkering around the edges of the problem. Insecure workers don’t want sympathy, they need real change that gives them proper rights at work and ends exploitative contracts.

When it comes to flexibility, too often it is a one-way street. Employees need to have clear rights and a decent contract, not just the option to ask for them. For people who live in daily fear that their hours will be cut if they even speak out, such a right is quite meaningless and makes this review a massive missed opportunity.

 Zero-hours and other exploitative contracts stop people from being able to plans their lives on a monthly, or even week-by-week basis. It is quite shocking in this day and age that we allow these kind of practices to proliferate, and for bosses to pretend that employer and employee benefit equally from flexibility.

John Hendy QC:

Changes to the law to protect the rights of those who work for a living are essential. But the most crucial step in every sector of British industry is to reintroduce sectoral collective bargaining, that is the settlement of minimum terms and conditions of work for the entire industry by negotiation between unions on behalf of workers on the one hand and employers’ associations on behalf of all the employers in the industry on the other. Those minimum terms and conditions can set the rules by which flexibility, security and a decent standard of life can be secured for all in the industry.

The agreed terms can then be enforced in respect of all workers and on all employers in the industry. Of course, the minimum standards can be improved by collective bargaining at enterprise level.

That sectoral collective bargaining is the future for a productive and efficient economy  was recognised in the publication last week of the OECD’s Employment Outlook 2017. And the roll-out of sectoral collective bargaining is also a keystone of Labour’s election Manifesto, For the Many not the Few. Sectoral collective bargaining has many benefits (to ensure democracy a the workplace, to deliver social justice and greater equality at work, to raise wages and hence increase demand in the economy, and because international law requires it). But it is particularly appropriate to deal with the growing problem of the gig economy, for example: delivery riders and drivers, care workers, and  hotel and catering workers.

James Farrar, United Private Hire Drivers

When Theresa May launched the Taylor Review last year and promised the Conservatives would be the party of worker rights I dared to hope that the government was learning the lessons of our Employment Tribunal victory over Uber. I thought she was taking heed of a rising threat of populism as more and more people gave up on a system seemingly rigged against them.

I didn’t allow myself to get too optimistic but I was confident in the direction of travel.

All hope came crashing down around the ears of 40,000 Uber drivers today.

We were betrayed.

We emphatically won the right to be recognised as workers under the law entitling us to minimum wage and holiday pay for every hour of the 48 hour week and average Uber driver works. But if Taylor’s recommendations are implemented we will now only be entitled to the minimum wage for ‘peak’ hours. Uber’s business model relies on an already oversupplied market since it carries no employment cost so where will the peak hours come from? Uber will be allowed to cherry pick the few most lucrative hours in the week when we can make the minimum wage anyway to bestow us the right to earn it.

According to Uber, ‘top drivers’ gross £18 per hour for 48 hours per week and when we deduct 25 commission that comes to £648. Take away another £400 per week typically to cover fuel, vehicle rental and commercial taxi insurance and a ‘top driver’ earns £5.17 per hour – and that’s top drivers. With such high overheads its simply not possible to work the peak hours and go home. Drivers will be forced to work the off peak hours with no worker rights protections to keep chipping away at overhead.

Another big concern is that the minimum wage, when allowed, will be linked to piece rates or in our case jobs per hour. This means drivers will be on the treadmill rushing in traffic and weather to keep on target just so to remain qualified for basis worker rights protections. In an industry already very poorly regulated this is a public safety disaster waiting to happen.

And if there was an alternative to Uber and I chose to multi app with another platform then all bets are off and protections from anyone.

In retrospect, I suppose I should have seen this coming. Throughout the long consultation a false choice between rights and flexibility was presented. I have always rejected that and I still do. When you are at the bottom just looking on to the bare minimum of worker rights I could never accept that the government would present me with a choice between flexibility and fairness. I will continue to fight for both for the ranks of all of us in Britain’s precariat.

John Earls, Head of Research, Unite the Union

When Matthew Taylor launched his review he rightly acknowledged that too many workers feel that they lack control in the workplace. Unfortunately, today’s report misses an opportunity to make some bold proposals to address that.

Taylor gives a nod to how trade unions have tackled abuses and worked with employers to deliver more successful and secure working environments. Trade unions and collective bargaining are an important part of addressing the imbalance of power that exists in work.  However, there’s nothing here to properly promote collective bargaining and the ability of workers to organise.

Taylor calls for “sectoral strategies engaging employers, employees and stakeholders to ensure that people…are not stuck at the living wage minimum or facing insecurity.” Why not new sectoral bodies bringing together unions and employers to negotiate pay, conditions, progression and training? Modern Wages Councils anyone?

The proposals on ‘dependent contractor’ status risk making things worse. I am also concerned at talk of ‘piece rates’ which can be used to oppress workers.

Existing rights should be extended to all those in work, not only those who qualify for ‘employee’ status. This should include creating a legal presumption that everyone qualifies for the full set of employee rights, placing the onus on the employer to prove that this is not the case. Taylor’s call for the burden of proof in ET cases be reversed onto the employer in part seems to recognise this.

Government must also make sure that those rights can be realised effectively. This includes abolishing Employment Tribunal fees and ensuring that enforcement agencies are given sufficient resources to deal with employment abuses.

Taylor’s call for naming and shaming of employers who do not pay ET awards is not an adequate deterrent and the claim that the naming and shaming of employers who fail to pay the NMW is “a huge success” is misguided.

There is no ban on zero hours contracts, yet there is no reason why the precedent set in New Zealand, where legislation has meant that large, multi-nationals, who also operate in Britain, have moved to fixed shifts and hours, cannot work here. Having a ‘right to request’ guaranteed hours after a year will not deter bad employers.

On the positive side, the calls to scrap the so-called ‘Swedish Derogation’ and ensure equal pay for agency workers, stamp out unpaid internships, and provide sick leave for low-paid workers are welcome.

Taylor is right to highlight the importance of the quality of work and to call for all work to be “fair and decent”. But there’s too little here to make sure that it is.

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Wales: Trade Union Act Passed by Welsh Government.

Wales TUC General Secretary Martin Mansfield

Legislation overturning rules making it more difficult for public sector workers in Wales to take strike action have been passed by the Welsh Government.

AMs approved the Welsh Government’s Trade Union (Wales) Bill, which overturns the UK Government’s 2016 Trade Union Act in Wales, in the Senedd on July 18th.

The Westminster act came into force in March and stops unions from calling strikes without support from at least 40 per cent of its membership. It also doubled the current notice period for industrial action from seven days to 14 days – Welsh AMs approved a bill by 38 votes to 13.

The Welsh Government’s local government secretary Mark Drakeford said: “This is a very significant day for devolved public services in Wales and devolution as a whole.

“We should never have been in a position where we had to introduce a bill to reverse parts of a UK act. Time and again we warned the UK Government that this damaging and divisive legislation interfered with devolved policy and the powers held by the National Assembly for Wales. Even their own lawyers advised them that they would be on thin ground when it came to this area but they still decided to press ahead.”

He added: “In Wales, the Welsh Government, employers and the trade union movement work together constructively.

“We have built up a tradition of social partnership, founded on respect for the work of trades unions and the rights of their members, and it is a tradition that has served us well, especially when you consider how the UK Government has handled disputes in recent years.

“Today, the National Assembly for Wales has taken the right course of action and acted to protect public services here from this regressive UK act.

“We will robustly defend any attempt by the UK Government to interfere in this legitimate and democratic process.”

The Welsh Conservatives had strongly opposed the bill, which also means agency workers cannot be brought in to cover striking public sector workers in Wales, and speaking before the vote Aberconwy AM Janet Finch-Saunders said approved it would “enable mass disruption for the many by the few”.

General secretary of the Wales Trades Union Congress Martin Mansfield welcomed the news.

“Our government is committed to working in partnership with unions and employers to get the very best deal for our Welsh public services and its valued workforce,” he said.

“The ‘Welsh Way’ works in avoiding industrial action.

“Our partnership approach is all about engaging with employers and government at an early stage, allowing us to deal with disagreements before they become disputes through mature negotiation and honest debate.

“Thanks to the support of Welsh Government and progressive political parties in the Senedd, this approach can continue to deliver for both the people of Wales and for the services we all rely on.”

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Unions Warn On Great Repeal Bill

Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey

UK unions have warned of the dangers of the so-called Great Repeal Bill which will be used to transpose EU legislation into UK law – with unions suspecting the Government will use the bill to water down employment rights gained from Europe.

Unite, said that the Conservative’s 2017 manifesto pledge to eliminate so-called ‘red tape’ makes a nonsense of the prime minister’s vow to protect workers’ rights as Brexit gets underway.

The union is calling for the Primne Minister to reassure the UK’s workers that their rights will not be savaged by a combination of hard-line deregulators on the Tory benches and her party’s determination to deliver on its 2017 manifesto which stated: ‘We will continue to regulate more efficiently through the Red Tape challenge and the one-in, two-out rule.’

With the Repeal bill beginning its journey through parliament today Unite’s, Len McCluskey said: “As we set out on the most important journey for our country in generations, the people of this country need to know that the government has their interests at heart.

“But we start this process with little faith that the Tory party can be trusted with our rights and living standards.

“That is why prime minister Theresa May must state what comes first; her party’s dogmatic determination to destroy regulations, as restated in the manifesto on which she recently stood, or her earlier pledge to protect workers’ rights?

“We urge her to make it abundantly clear today that it is the latter.

“Unless, she can confirm that her government has dropped its wrong-headed manifesto policy of one-in, two-out, then the public cannot trust it to deliver a repeal bill that will be safe from the hardliners on the Tory benches, and her claims to be on the side of working people are simply a nonsense.”

Unite says it is seeking a 66 percent threshold for the removal of any EU legislation protecting workers and living standards to be established, amid fears that elements of the Conservative party are determined to create a low wage, low protection UK out of Europe.

The two-third threshold is a precedent already established as it is required to call a general election out with the fixed five year term parliament.

Len McCluskey added: “We were promised that coming out of the EU would mean taking back control. Instead it looks like it is the government who will be taking all the control, taking unprecedented powers to sweep away vital laws and protections at a whim.

“However people voted in the referendum, they certainly did not vote to be worse off or easier to mistreat at work. UK workers are already the cheapest and easiest to sack in Europe, a shameful state of affairs for an advanced economy. 

“But there are too many on the Conservative benches itching to use Brexit to destroy a whole raft of protections and who will waste no time in attacking vital laws like the working time directive. A measure that is not ‘red tape’, but essential protection for workers and the public alike. Our roads are safer, for example, because under EU law lorry drivers must rest. 

“That is why we urge the sensible voices from across the House of Commons to unite to build in protections for the people from the over-bearing power that this bill gives the government of the day. That includes establishing a threshold to protect employment, safety and living standards from being swept away behind closed doors with a flick of the government’s pen.” 

Unite argues that the threshold is a vital corrective to the ‘Henry VIII’ powers that allow government to sweep away laws without parliamentary consent.

Meanwhile TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

This is a Downing Street power grab.

“The PM promised to protect all workers’ rights after Brexit. But there is nothing in this Bill to stop politicians shredding or watering down our rights in the future.

“Nobody voted for Brexit to make life harder for working people. That’s why any deal with the EU must ensure that workers’ rights in Britain don’t fall behind the rest of Europe.”

On proposals for the UK to be no longer subject to European Court of Justice rulings from the day the UK leaves the EU, O’Grady said:

“An early commitment to walk away from the ECJ will tie our hands in Brexit negotiations.

“The government should leave all options on the table, instead of creating yet more inflexible red lines.”

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US Unions Face Further Power Shift To Right Under Trump

A fascinating article has appeared on The Hill website setting out Donald Trump’s latest attempt to shift the National Labour Relations Board further to the right.

Although he portayed himself a friend of working people Trump, no matter how hobbled is setting out use the NLRB to dismantle labour rights gained under President Barak Obama. The article shows how he aims to thwart union organsing, not just by the US’s mainstream unions but by the new generation of ‘pop up’ unions fighting for decent wages in the fast food industry.

Recognising the imminant threat AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka this week “The decisions and actions of the NLRB have real consequences for working people. A fair and functioning NLRB can protect the freedom of working people to negotiate a fair return on our work so we can provide for our families. A partisan, ideologically driven NLRB can further empower corporations and CEOs to take away our freedoms at work.”

 

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