Government’s anti-trade union Bill will damage industrial relations in Leeds, says Council Leader

Trade unions working for Leeds City Council have joined forces with the political leadership to fight the Government’s Trade Union Bill.

The Bill currently being debated in Parliament would severely restrict workers’ rights to take industrial action to protect jobs and services.

UNISON, the GMB, UNITE and UCATT all represent members who work for the local authority and they have welcomed the support of Councillor Judith Blake and her leadership team for the national campaign to oppose the Bill.

Councillor Blake said:

“The proposed Trade Union Bill could adversely affect the positive industrial relations we have. We believe it is unnecessary to raise ballot thresholds in respect of industrial action, as industrial action is a last resort and we can work together to avoid it.”

“If workplace issues are important the trade unions will always remain able to organise industrial action, regardless of additional regulations the Government seeks. ”Councillor Blake added that any plan to prevent public sector employers from deducting trade union subscriptions would be “unnecessary and petty”.

Councillor Blake added that the Council believed collective bargaining provided a positive framework for positive employee relations.

UNISON Regional Organiser Dean Harper said:

“We welcome the support from the Council because this Bill is grossly unfair and anti-democratic.” and Jon Smith, Regional Officer for the GMB said “It is welcome that the employers from Leeds City Council are standing shoulder to shoulder with their employees in fighting this bill. It certainly calls into question who this government is representing. As a member of the Tory Government, David Davis MP, has said, the Bill would not be out of place in Franco’s Fascist Spain but has no place in modern Britain.”

“We will campaign against this attack on our human rights with all the energy we can muster and we are delighted the leadership of Leeds City Council share our opinion.”

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