Men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name. (William Morris - A Dream of John Ball)

Friday, April 29, 2016

UNISON and the Trade Union Bill - further concessions
Following on from the Government climbing down from its plan to ban deduction of union subscriptions from salaries in the public sector, the further concessions announced this week are also to be welcomed.

The lobbying in the House of Lords, coordinated and led by UNISON, has borne more fruit than many (your blogger included) expected. Putting off the full scale onslaught on trade union facility time is a significant victory, whilst the delay in changes to the law on political funds (which shall not in any case apply to existing contributors) averts bankruptcy for the ‎Labour Party.

Those responsible for these - and other - concessions are to be congratulated. Although one might think that the Government will have proposed, initially, various measures they were prepared to sacrifice - there is no guarantee that such measures would have been sacrificed had opposition not been mobilised.

In any event, the attacks on facility time, political funds and union subscriptions have been part of the core agenda of the Tory right for years. Only the combination of mass mobilisation and "behind the scenes" lobbying has seen them off.

For now.

Because our enemies have retreated this does not mean that they have gone away. We need to be prepared to defend against future attacks - and much of the work which has been done to improve our ability to collect subscriptions by direct debit (for example) remains valuable as the public service workforce continues to fragment.

‎And - of course - the essence of the Bill, which is to restrict the right to strike - remains intact. About which there is much more to be said.


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.

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