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Trade Union Bill

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 26th January 2016.

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Photo of Alex Johnstone Alex Johnstone Conservative

The Trade Union Bill gives effect to manifesto commitments that the Conservative Party made in advance of being elected as the majority Government of the United Kingdom last May.

Trade unions are an important part of our society. The trade union movement has a proud history of campaigning for workers’ rights and for improvements in health and safety in the workplace and of representing members when they are in need of support.

However, people have concerns about the balance between the right to strike and the misery that such action can cause to the public, particularly in vital public services such as the NHS, the fire service, transport and schools. No one wants to undermine the right of unions to call a strike as a last resort, but that should be based on the views of the union’s membership. It is not right that strikes can be called with the support of as few as one in 10 members, on the basis of very low turnouts.