Burt: Leaked letter shows some of problems with Tory politically motivated attack on Trade Unions

This weekend a leaked letter from Skills Minister Nick Boles showed that the Government is considering conceding certain points on the Trade Union Bill in the face of almost certain defeat in the House of Lords. Liberal Democrat BIS spokesperson Lorely Burt had this to say:

We are pleased that the Government apparently recognises the need to allow electronic balloting of trade union members if they want to impose voting thresholds on unions. We hope they will therefore listen to Liberal Democrats who have tabled amendments to the Trade Union Bill to allow electronic voting.

This leaked letter shows just some of the problems with this politically motived attack on trade unions. This is not about good industrial relations, it is about attacking one of their political opponents.

Liberal Democrats oppose this Bill because it will make it harder to prevent strikes and more difficult to encourage employers and workers to work together to resolve disputes

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Very good – I’m still waiting to hear whether Labour Lords will turn up for work themselves to support Lib Dem votes – can anyone inform me of the discussions that took place between both party’s groups and the quid pro quo.

  • David Warren 9th Feb '16 - 11:17am

    This bill is a clumsy attempt to make strikes more difficult and hit the Labour party’s funding.

    Trade union reforms are needed and I would like to see our party developing proposals.

  • Leekliberal 9th Feb '16 - 7:31pm

    John Marriot says ‘Worrying about strike ballots is not something that excites me.’ But surely we should be seeking a fair balance between employer and employed, who unlike medium/large companies only have their a own labour to sell in the marketplace. For a strike ballot to succeed it should have genuine majority support but believe the Tory proposed threshold is, in reality, too steep to produce a fair outcome.

  • James Murray 10th Feb '16 - 6:43pm

    Have I got this wrong.
    At the moment there is an opt out contribution when paying trade union subs to a political fund.
    This then becomes the property of the trade union to be paid or not to, inevitably, the Labour Party.
    Given that many trade unionists support the LibDems and other parties, surely it is more fair that the contributing member can choose where the sub goes and then it is up to the trade union to ensure it is directed to the right party.

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