SNP representatives in both the Scottish and Westminster Parliaments are standing up for the fundamental rights of workers and voicing our strong opposition to the draconian Trade Union Bill.
The Bill, brought forward by the Tory Government, contains measures which threaten the fundamental rights of workers to organise, bargain collectively and withdraw their labour.
It demonstrates the huge difference in the attitude towards trade unions between the UK and Scottish Governments. In Scotland, we see trade unions as partners, not opponents. They play a positive role in Scotland’s workplace and society by protecting the opportunity and dignity of individual employees, and improving productivity.
The SNP in Government are committed to working in partnership with the STUC, and we were delighted that they shared our calls for the full devolution over the minimum wage and trade union and employment law during the passage of the Scotland Bill. Unfortunately this call was not supported by either the Tories or Labour when debated yesterday in the House of Commons.
However, our opposition to the Trade Union Bill continues at Holyrood and Westminster today.
In a Scottish Parliament debate the Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work Roseanna Cunningham called for Scotland to be excluded entirely from the Trade Union Bill.
She also believes that the UK Government should seek the consent of the Scottish Parliament before attempting to impose this ill-thought through legislation in Scotland.
Meanwhile at Westminster, the SNP will take every opportunity to oppose the bill – including voting against it this evening.
Our first priority is to secure an exclusion for Scotland entirely. If that is blocked then SNP MPs will explicitly seek exemptions on the arrangements for check-off and facility time. These provisions allow union subscriptions to be deducted from the salaries of workers who are members of a trade union, and gives union representatives time for conducting union duties.
Going forward the SNP will continue to oppose this bill at every opportunity, both at Holyrood and at Westminster.