date: 18 June 2010
embargo: 00.01hrs Monday 21 June 2010
Commenting on the CBI report on the UK labour market published today (Monday), TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
'The UK already has some of the toughest legal restrictions on the right to strike in the advanced world. The courts regularly strike down democratic ballots that clearly show majority support for action. The number of days lost to industrial action is historically low and less than in many other countries.
'Any further restrictions would be extremely unfair and almost certainly breach the UK's international human rights obligations. The new Government's commitments to civil liberties are welcome, but the CBI seems to think human rights stop at the workplace door.
'And while we expect the CBI to lobby against rights at work, please spare us the hypocrisy of pretending that a cut in the period for consultation over redundancy is for the benefit of employees. A 30 day period does not provide unions - let alone staff unrepresented by unions - any real chance to develop alternatives or effectively negotiate changes.
'The CBI's proposals add up to a demolition job on the rights at work of their members' staff - and a charter for exploitation by unscrupulous employers. It looks like the CBI's backwoodsmen are back in the driving seat.'
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
- Congress 2010 will be held at the Manchester Central Convention Complex from Monday
13 September to Thursday 16 September. Free media passes can be obtained by visiting www.tuc.org.uk/congress/tuc-18063-f0.cfm and returning a form. Applications must be in by noon on Monday 6 September. Any received later than that will be processed in Manchester and will cost £50.