11 Days Remaining

Wednesday 16th
posted by Roger Bagley in Britain

LABOUR MPs vowed yesterday to wage a line-by-line battle against the Tories’ vicious Trade Union Bill.

The authoritarian Bill passed its Commons second reading on Monday night, but a strong spirit of resistance has gripped the opposition benches.

“It must be killed,” declared Labour trade union group chairman Ian Lavery MP during the debate.

“This Bill is an affront to democracy,” he said.

“Quite simply, the Bill seeks to crush the last vestiges of dissent against an increasingly authoritarian right-wing government.”

Ministers steamrollered the Bill through its second reading by 317 votes to 284, a majority of 33.

Government whips are now determined to rush the Bill through its Commons committee stage by October 27. It will also have to go to the Lords.

Prominent Tory backbencher David Davis warned the government that he could oppose the Bill during later stages unless it was amended to meet his concerns.

Mr Davis, a former shadow home secretary, told fellow MPs: “I am particularly offended by the idea that a picket organiser needs to give his name to the police force.”

He also criticised restrictions on trade unions’ use of social media.

Mr Davis revealed to MPs that his grandfather had been blacklisted and unemployed for 17 years because he was a trade union organiser in the coalfields of the north east.

Edmonton Labour MP Kate Osamor warned that the Bill would worsen inequalities between men and women.

“The reality is that trade unions are one of the best tools in the struggle for gender equality, and attacks on union rights will damage the struggle for equality in the workplace.”