Local government Trade Unions gathered at Fife Council headquarters in Glenrothes this week to show their support for Fife Council who have said they will refuse to implement the proposed Trade Union Bill which is currently being put through Parliament.
The proposals include ending check-off in public services which is where councils and other public bodies automatically deduct union payments from workers wages and pay to the union and will impact on almost 4 million trade union members. making it harder to take industrial action by bringing in arbitrary ballot thresholds and a 14 day notice period for all action alongside allowing employers to bring in agency workers to replace those taking strike action, removing facility time whereby union stewards are given paid time to carry out union duties.
There is also a new requirement for ‘picket supervisors’ where there is a strike with those persons details being handed to the police, the introduction a new Certification Officer who must be paid for by the unions and will have powers to request documents and investigate all aspects of a union’s business at the drop of a hat.
Cowdenbeath MSP Alex Rowley joined with the union members to discus their concerns and later said; “This legislation is an ideologically driven attack on the Trade Unions and an attempt to severely weaken their existence. It is also an attack on public services where the weakening of Trade Unions and their ability to carryout their role will make for poorer industrial relations.
The Scottish labour deputy leader added; “Across the country people are speaking out against this legislation and I welcome the fact that Fife Council have made their opposition clear and will refuse to do anything that is not in the interest of good industrial relations. This is a Tory attack on workers it is unnecessary uncalled for and must be resisted. Our forefathers fought for our rights in the workplace and we must protect those rights for future generations”.
End photo shows Alex Rowley with campaigners at Fife Council Headquarters