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Workers' Representation

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th February 1995.

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Photo of Mr Philip Oppenheim Mr Philip Oppenheim , Amber Valley 12:00 am, 7th February 1995

There is a fundamental difference between the right to belong to a trade union and the right not to be discriminated against for belonging to a trade union. There is redress—[Interruption.] The union should have advised its members to go to an industrial tribunal, where they would gained some redress legally. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman should address his question to the union leader who failed to give that advice, because redress is available.

There is a difference between the right to belong to a trade union and politicians telling employers that they should deal with unions rather than dealing directly with employees, which they prefer to do. That voluntarist approach of allowing employers to make the choice does not seem to be causing any problems with the Opposition spokeswoman, as she has just sent her child to a school which has refused to recognise a trade union.