date: Feb 27 2003
Commenting on the review of the Employment Relations Act published by the Government today, Brendan Barber, TUC General Secretary Elect said:
'While there are some useful advances in this White Paper that will make a real difference to people at work, unions will find the Governments rejection of many TUC proposals extremely disappointing. The government would be unwise to ignore the real anger in unions today.
'Our call for people at work to have a right to be represented by a union when a majority back it, irrespective of the size of the business, is a basic human right.
'Our call for an end to the rigged votes in recognition ballots where abstentions count the same as votes against is a simple matter of democracy.
'Our call to end the right of employers to sack staff after eight weeks on strike would enshrine the basic human right to withdraw your labour.
'Of course we welcome the measures that will help people at work and the technical improvements in employment law and union recognition procedures, but on balance the white paper has been too influenced by business lobbying.
'But this is a consultation document. It is not too late for the government to recognise the justice of our case. We will be pressing hard during the consultation period for progress on the small firms exemption, the recognition ballot threshold, protection for striking workers, full implementation of the requirements brought about by the Wilson Palmer case, and proper protection for union members from victimisation by companies resisting union recognition claims.'
Notes to Editors:
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