Trade Union Access to Workplaces — [Siobhain McDonagh in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:45 pm on 4th June 2019.

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Photo of Justin Madders Justin Madders Labour, Ellesmere Port and Neston 4:45 pm, 4th June 2019

My hon. Friend makes an interesting point. I think there is more we can do to meet in the electronic sense, online; there can be more discussion forums that way. The old workplace messes are a thing of the past, but we can improve things in that way.

My hon. Friend the Member for Warrington South spoke about various examples around the country where employers have prevented unions such as the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union, Unison, GMB and the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers from accessing workplaces. We have heard about some of the largest employers in the country, including McDonald’s, Amazon and Bupa, actively seeking to prevent trade union activity through restricting access, banning visits or manipulating shift patterns to prevent opportunities for engagement. That is a shameless way to behave and is ultimately self-defeating.

In my area, trade union recognition in the construction industry has been a particularly hot issue recently. We have a lot of industrial construction, but for some reason some of those involved refuse to engage with trade unions on recognition issues, to their detriment. National agreements are important for pay, training and safety—all things we want to see in the construction industry.