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Friday 17 July 2015

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TUSC pledges opposition to new attack on workers' rights

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has added its voice to mounting opposition against the Conservative government's Trade Union Bill raising the threshold for union strike ballots, and allowing employers to bring in agency staff to break strikes.

The Trade Union Bill, introduced to parliament on Wednesday, 11th July, imposes a minimum 50% turnout in union strike ballots; for public sector strikes to be legal they would need the backing of at least 40% of those eligible to vote.

TUSC national chair, former Labour MP Dave Nellist, said:

"The threshold the government wishes to impose would mean that, in the public sector, a ballot in which 50% voted, and of those 70% voted 'Yes', would still not be a legal basis for a strike.

"Those percentages far outweigh the votes on which the current government were elected - yet they wish to impose a higher test on trade unions than they themselves passed in May.

"The real reason the Tories are pursuing this course is the billions of pounds of cuts still to come in additional departmental public spending reductions to be announced this autumn - savaging in particular local services, everything from libraries to youth clubs, from family centres to adult social care - and the knowledge that working people will resist, and that trade unions will lead the opposition.

"The government are getting their retaliation in first.

"TUSC will oppose the introduction of these new anti-union laws, and demand that current legislation, already some of the most draconian in the advanced industrial world, be repealed. We will work with trade unions opposing this Bill in the 120 towns and cities where TUSC stood candidates this year. If this Bill is passed we will support workers who take strike action whatever the majority vote in favour or size of turnout".