Trade Unions

News from the Trade Union Congress #TUC

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Sign the petition: Protect the right to strike

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Going to Work
Protect the right to strike

The government’s controversial trade union bill gets its third and final reading in the House of Commons tomorrowTuesday 10 November. This dangerous legislation threatens the basic right to strike for workers across the UK.

However, the vote might be closer than the government would like. We’re hearing from a number of Conservative MPs who are worried about the risks to important civil liberties or who feel parts of the bill are unfair and unnecessary. Some have even spoken out in public and said they’ll support amendments to cut out some of the worst parts of the bill.

With such a slender government majority, anything could happen. As our MPs are getting ready for this big vote, let’s send them a big signal that we don’t want them to take liberties with our right to strike.

We’ve got a new petition to Prime Minister David Cameron, calling on him to think again about this bad bill. It’s been growing really fast – 35,000 have signed already.

Can you help pile on the pressure even more? Sign and share our petition now and let’s make it something our MPs can’t ignore.

Sign the petition to protect the right to strike

Hotel chambermaid shares hellish reality of agency work in David Cameron’s Britain

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Hotel chambermaid shares hellish reality of agency work in David Cameron’s Britain

Barbara Pokryszk recalls humiliating daily queues for work at the Hilton London Metropole – with those at the back turned away empty-handed

Barbara Pokryszka former Hotel chambermaid 
Testimony: Barbara Pokryszka will tell her story at the Labour Party Conference      Daily Mirror

Barbara Pokryszka cleaned 15,000 hotel rooms as a chamber maid.

And every day she started work at the Hilton London Metropole, she was forced to go through a demeaning morning ritual.

By 7.40am, maids had to report to the office where cleaning buckets and lists were handed out. No one wanted to be last in the queue in case there wasn’t work for them that day.

“It was so humiliating,” Barbara says, tears in her eyes. “Some of the women would get hit with the buckets because there wasn’t enough space and the agency supervisors would laugh at us.”

Barbara says the lucky ones would go on to work up to 12 hours for around £50 a day, which she says often worked out below the minimum wage. Two or three women would get sent home with nothing.

“I was often punished because I tried to say what you are doing is wrong,” claims Barbara, 38, an arts graduate from near Krakov, Poland.

“Then you would be sent home ‘on stand-by’. That is how they controlled the girls. If you make trouble, no work for you, sometimes for weeks.”

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#Conservatives attack our Free Trade Unions… again

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Public sector workers to lose right to have union fees deducted from wages

Up to 3.8 million workers will be affected by what government says is ‘outdated practice’ but unions say it is latest Tory assault on workers’ rights

Members of trade union Unison march through Liverpool last year. Up to 3.8 million public sector workers will lose the right to have their trade union subscription automatically deducted from their pay. Photograph: David Ellison/Demotix/Corbis

Up to 3.8 million public sector workers will lose the right to have their trade union subscriptions automatically deducted from their pay cheques after the government announced plans to end the “outdated practice”.

In a move that will be condemned by trade union leaders as another assault on their rights, the government confirmed that the forthcoming trade union bill will force public sector workers to make their own arrangements to pay union subscriptions.

Matt Hancock, the cabinet office minister, heralded the end to “check-off”deductions as a key step in modernising the relationship with trade unions and saving on administrative fees.

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ELLIE MAE O’HAGAN : If you curb the power of trade unions, you reduce the rights of working people

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 ELLIE MAE O’HAGAN Wednesday 15 July 2015

If you curb the power of trade unions, you reduce the rights of working people

The government doesn’t really care about democratic engagement – it just wants to find a way to outlaw strikes

In an act of political doublespeak, business secretary Sajid Javid described the purpose of Trade Union Bill – which has its first reading in the House of Commons today – thus: “Trade unions have a constructive role to play in representing their members’ interests, but our one nation government will balance their rights with those of working people and business.”

This is exactly the kind of asinine logic we can expect from an organisation that brands itself “the workers’ party” whilst simultaneously cutting tax credits. It’s almost painful to have to state something so obvious, but trade unions and working people are the same thing; if you curb the power of trade unions, you automatically reduce the rights of working people. That’s why trade unions call themselves the labour movement. Javid may as well have said he was going to protect the rights of noses by systematically punching everyone in the face.

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Six myths about how the unions are ruining Britain

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Six myths about how the unions are ruining Britain

Don’t believe everything you read about the trade unions – particularly if it’s in the Daily Mail, Thursday 13 November 2014 13.06 GMT
The late Bob Crowe of the RMT union

The late Bob Crow of the RMT union. ‘A 2011 poll showed that trade union leaders were more trusted by the public than bankers, business leaders, politicians and journalists.’ Photograph: Martin Argles for the Guardian

The Daily Mail front page caught my eye yesterday: it announced that trade unions were now paying their members to go on strike. I confess to being almost impressed at that infernal organ’s ability to alchemise scandals out of the prosaic, and it got me thinking about the other myths that are commonly peddled about trade unions. Let’s have a look at six regulars, and give them a good old busting.

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