This Thursday, the Labour Group will be putting a motion about the 2015 Trade Union Bill to full council. Proposed by my friend Cllr Olwen Hamer, if adopted Stoke-on-Trent City Council will set its face against proposed changes to strike ballots and other attempts to undermine the capacity for workers to seek redress through collective action. These include letters of authorisation and giving pickets' names to the police.
One can expect the Tories to vote against this. But how about UKIP, will they stand up for elementary democratic rights of the working people they represent in the council chamber? And as for the City Independents, I might not think much of them but at least some of them should still carry the flicker of Labour values in their hearts. Are they going to stand for the interests of the people who voted them in? Will they show that Stoke's motto - Vis Unita Fortio (United Strength is Stronger) are more than just words?
Please find the text below.
“This council notes the impact of the 2015 Trade Union Bill in making the right to strike significantly more difficult and making it easier for agency workers to be used to undermine legitimate strike action. Furthermore, it aims to introduce legislation which could potentially criminalise pickets and also limit the time allowed for elected union representatives to carry out their trade union duties.
In view of this, I call upon the whole council to unite to defend the democratic rights of the working people of this city and call upon the Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council and the ruling administration to write to the secretary of state to demand that the bill be abolished.”