UPDATE. Sometime after 3pm on 14 September a statement was published on the national GP website press feed that the party opposes the Trade Union Bill. I welcome this statement. But the fact remains that this action was only taken AFTER the publication of an article on my blog. Had I not published this article I believe that the GP would not have put out a statement on its national website about the TU Bill yesterday. I recognise that the GP has made its opposition to the TU Bill clear in various forums and through press releases to the media. However, as a member of a national political party with almost 70,000 members I expect my party to have used its press feed on its national website to repeat and make clear it opposition to the Bill, especially bearing in mind that yesterday was the day on which the TU Bill was debated by the TUC and Parliament. Publishing a statement sometime after 3pm on it national website on a day when the civil liberties of millions of workers was to be discussed by Parliament and the TUC is not acceptable. This was a serious omission which sends out a misleading message about the GPs strong commitment to workers’ rights
Today both the TUC and Parliament will be discussing the Government’s Trade Union Bill. This is a Bill which contravenes several International Labour Organisation conventions which have already been ratified by the UK. This is a Bill which will place restrictions on trade union abilities to organise in the workplace and to engage politically. This is a Bill which will restrict the right of trade unions to bargain collectively and the right to take industrial action. So draconian is this Bill that comments made by trade union officials on social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube about industrial disputes will be regulated and policed by the state. This Bill is nothing less than a fundamental attack on the civil rights of millions of trade unionists which makes Thatcher’s anti-union legislation of the 1980s look positively tame. This is a Bill which all progressive political organisations should be opposing including supporting and engaging in peaceful direct action and civil disobedience if it becomes law.
|Green Party National Website 2pm 14 September.|
Following Jeremy Corbyn's magnificent victory as Labour Leader on Saturday many Greens have been questioning the role and future of our party. I for one will not be joining a Green flight to Labour, but if we are to retain credibility as fighters for, and defenders of, democratic freedoms, particularly when the Labour Left is resurgent we cannot afford to make such shameful mistakes as this.
TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady