Yesterday, the Trade Union Bill passed its Third Reading in Parliament.
Our side won the argument, with even some Tories wobbling on some of the more vindictive aspects of the Bill, but the Government won the vote 305 to 271. The Tories' inbuilt majority makes them almost impossible to beat.
Thank you to every MP who spoke and voted in favour of unions, solidarity and democracy. I know many more wanted to speak, but the Government had allocated such a tiny window for the debate that many were unable to have their say.
And thank you to each and every campaigner who helped to build our campaign. Almost 10,000 of us contacted our MPs in recent days – they can have been left in no doubt about how strongly their constituents feel.
The result is devastating news - but our fight goes on. As the debate moves to the House of Lords, we’re launching a new campaign to highlight the attack on democracy that is contained in the Bill.
The Tories want to be in power for a generation, and are fixing the system to make that happen. They’re making it harder to register to vote, and are redrawing the Parliamentary map in a way that benefits them.
But that’s not all. Hidden in the Trade Union Bill is a clause that is deliberately designed to restrict trade unions supporting the Labour Party financially. They are loading the dice in their favour at election time
They are changing the law so that members have to opt-in to support unions’ political campaigning. They are unfairly backdating this change, so that 5 million current members in union political funds will have their membership cancelled. Unions will have just 3 months to re-recruit those members. They are dressing this up as being about union transparency, but it’s not. It’s a one-sided attack on union funding to the Labour Party, while doing nothing to limit the hedge funds and millionaires that support the Tories.
The Bill has a long way to go – and we’ll keep fighting it every step of the way. The Government aren’t hanging around (the Bill has its First Reading in the Lords today) and neither are we. So we’re launching a new campaign today, to highlight this attack on democracy.
Add your name now to our joint letter of petition, and we’ll present it to the House of Lords.
Our fight goes on.