Despite the weather that disrupted travel into London this morning, UNISON Scotland was well represented at today's lobby of Westminster against the Trade Union Bill.
Trade Union Bill is a ferocious attack on almost every aspect of trade unionism. It shifts the balance of power in workplaces further to the advantage of employers and away from workers, whether they are in a union or not. It is fundamentally an attack on core trade union activity: facility time, check off, and the ability of unions to underpin collective bargaining with a credible right to strike. It subjects unions to unprecedented levels of civil and criminal penalties, red tape, and monitoring by the Certification Officer. It proposes to curtail unions’ abilities to fund political activities and campaigns.
The lobby started with a rally at Central Hall, Westminster. So full that hundreds were left outside.
Moving inside the Palace of Westminster, trade union members appeared to take over the building talking to their MPs.
Discussions with Scottish MPs focused on those aspects of the Bill that undermine the devolution settlement. Under the Bill, Ministers for English departments will be able to direct health boards, councils and NDPBs across Scotland. This would be the most serious breach of the devolution settlement since the Scottish Parliament began.
Here, UNISON Scotland's Dave Watson is with SNP group leader Angus Robertson MP (left). A particular thanks to Chris Stephens MP (right) for his assistance with the lobby.
We thought the Aberdeenshire branch delegation got lost, but they found an MP to lobby!
There was a good turnout of Scottish MPs and trade union members pictured here. All were very supportive of our campaign.
Thanks to all those activists who made the often difficult journey today. And a special thanks to the Scottish MPs who turned up to listen to our concerns.