Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Part Three of the Lobbying Act - the cat's out of the bag!

‎One of our Assistant General Secretaries drew attention to the Government consultation linked to above at today's meeting of the UNISON National Executive Council (NEC).

This is a consultation on the implementation of Part Three of the Lobbying Act - the unrelated proposals to require trade unions to prepare, and have independently audited, certificates of the accuracy of our membership records.

‎No one of consequence had called for this further unnecessary legislative intrusion into the affairs of what are already some of the most regulated trade unions in the world. 

However, the text of the equality impact assessment which accompanies the consultation reveals the purpose of this pernicious provision;

"These changes would complement but not replace the current mechanism by which employers can approach the court to seek an injunction to stop industrial action..."

‎Given the papers accompanying the consultation demonstrate the scale of the problem which unions face in keeping membership records up to date, because of high levels of membership turnover and the frequency with which members change their home address, it is clear that this legislation is simply a deliberate attempt to augment the already formidable obstacles in the way of lawful industrial action.

Labour has pledged to repeal these provisions - but we probably shouldn't ignore this consultation (and I'm sure we won't).

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.

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