Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Trade Union Bill - Third Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:45 pm on 25th April 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Balfe Lord Balfe Conservative 3:45 pm, 25th April 2016

My Lords, I very much welcome this clause. It represents common sense and shows that the Minister has listened to the representations that have been received.

I do not intend to speak again during this debate but I will pick up on a point made earlier by the noble Lord, Lord Collins, who mentioned twice that he had been to an USDAW conference. I am sure that he had a very good welcome there. I was a member of USDAW for a few years, when I worked for the Co-op. I will place on the record that the understanding of the trade union movement would be much enhanced in the political comity of Great Britain if the unions extended invitations to their conferences beyond just one political party. One of the difficulties, which has been seen in the Bill and is seen in other places, is that although 30%-plus of trade unionists vote Conservative and a good number vote for the Liberal Democrats and the nationalist parties, the trade unions persistently seek to relate to only one political party. It would be for the good of the trade union movement and that of the noble Lords sitting opposite if the union movement could be persuaded to look a little beyond its comfort zone and to engage with all legislators. That could possibly avoid many of the misunderstandings that have occurred in the past. Having said that, I welcome the clause; it is a very good step forward and I thank the Minister for his introduction of it.