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

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:22 pm on 4th June 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Chris Stephens Chris Stephens Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Fair Work and Employment) 5:22 pm, 4th June 2019

It is a pleasure to see you in the Chair, Ms McDonagh. I congratulate Faisal Rashid on securing this debate and on bringing forward his ten-minute rule Bill, which I support—he has my guarantee.

It is traditional in these trade union debates to make our declarations. I declare my 20 years of trade union activity before I was elected to this place, my membership of Glasgow City Unison, and my position as chair of the Public and Commercial Services Union parliamentary group. I will in the next few days declare a settlement agreement with my former employer as a result of an equal pay claim.

I make those declarations not just to show my trade union credentials; it is obviously important to mention the trade union role in the education and personal development of workers. I have no shame in saying—I am sure I am not the only Member of Parliament present who would say this—that I would not be here without the skills, knowledge and experience I gained as a trade union representative and activist.

The hon. Member for Warrington South described the historical and present contexts. On the current context, it is very interesting that the governing party is having a leadership election—a so-called grand national, although I think the grand national is for thoroughbreds, not necessarily for people putting themselves forward for leader of the Conservative party. Many who are seeking to be the next Prime Minister have the inclination to deregulate markets—an inclination not too dissimilar from that of Donald Trump. It seems that some will argue over the next few years that the solution to a deregulated market is to deregulate it even further. It is complete and utter political nonsense.