Trade Union Bill Update

The Lords inflict a serious blow to the Trade Union Bill

The Lords have inflicted a triple blow to the government’s controversial Trade Union Bill.

Peers voted overwhelmingly for three amendments to the bill, on electronic balloting, facility time, and the funds used by unions for political campaigning.

The government was heavily defeated on each vote, and will now be forced to rethink its plans when the bill returns to the Commons.

Three amendments were tabled during the report stage in the Lords yesterday.

Peers voted by 320-181 to commission an independent review of electronic ballots for strike action – which ministers have rejected, despite calling for changes that would require a minimum turnout of 50% and backing of at least 40% of those eligible to vote.

They also voted 248-160 against a cap on facility time.

Where the bill requires Labour-affiliated union members to “opt in” to paying a levy to the party, peers voted 320-172 to apply those changes to new members only, with a 12-month transition period.

Thank you to all members who have campaigned on this damaging and divisive Bill. We need to continue so the Government realises that we are not willing to accept this attack on the trade unions.

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