Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Trade Union Bill finishes Committee stage...
Yesterday, in the tenth and final sitting of the Committee stage of the Trade Union Bill in the House of Commons, the new clause seeking to eliminate “check-off” arrangements for the payment of unions subscriptions was formally added to the various other vicious proposals to obstruct strike action, neutralise trade union political campaigning and generally hobble our movement.
Interestingly, the Minister suggested that, whereas trade unions are going to be given only three months to get each member currently paying the political levy to sign a consent form to be able to continue paying, we will have a generous (?) six months in which to transfer members who pay their subscriptions from their wages or salaries on to direct debit.
The Bill will now proceed to its third reading in the House of Commons after which it will have to be considered in the House of Lords before receiving Royal Assent. Whilst we must now focus our attention on lobbying against the Bill, we need also to give serious thought to how we will handle both the massive administrative tasks which the enactment of this vile legislation would set before us.
One of our sister unions (or as officials sometimes say “competitor unions”) has already launched a mobile app with a facility to switch members to Direct Debit payment of subscriptions.