Trade Union restrictions will harm not help - Isles MP

Angus MacNeil MP standing with a window in the background.
Angus MacNeil MP standing with a window in the background.
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Tory action to restrict Trade Unions will deprive workers of their basic rights hard won over the past 100 years, says Isles MP Angus MacNeil.

Mr MacNeil voted against the Trade Union Bill in Parliament last week along with his colleagues in the SNP Westminster Group but the Bill was passed by 317 votes to 284, a majority of 33.

Mr MacNeil says he was contacted by a large number of constituents on this issue who wished to voice concerns about the impact of the proposals.

He said: “This action, designed by the Conservative Government, seeks to deprive workers of their basic rights which were hard won over the past 100 years.

“Trade unions are key social partners playing an important role in sustaining effective democracy in society, particularly in the workplace, and the existence of good employment practices is a key contributor to economic competitiveness and social justice.”

Mr MacNeil argued in the formal debate that the introduction of a Trade Union Bill was not wanted or needed in Scotland and was an ‘alien law that will create difficulties rather than help’.

He said: “Ninety nine per cent of the time the Conservatives go on about regulation and red tape in business and the workplace but what are they trying to do now but introduce regulation and red tape unseen in Germany, Norway or other major economies of Europe?”

The SNP Group are also opposed to restrictions on Trade Unions using social media and support the usage of safe and secure online voting to maximise participation as well as changes to regulations regarding agency workers.

They say they’re determined to stand up for social justice and progressive policies in this parliament for the whole of the UK.

The Bill will now go through the Committee stages in Parliament and the SNP Group says it will continue to push for changes to protect the rights of workers.

Mr MacNeil added: “In other countries trade unions are seen as part of the process of the economy but in the Tory UK it’s all about replaying a Victorian class war, another downside of voting no in the referendum a year ago is now apparent with this step towards weakening trade union representations for workers by the Westminster Government which controls this area of the law.”