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Trade union members from Sefton Central flock to Westminster to urge Bill Esterson MP to oppose Tory Trade Union Bill

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson with Brian Hurst and Chris Wilson from the FBU.

Labour MP Bill Esterson said he was "hugely impressed" by the number of people from Sefton Central who traveled to London this week to show their support for his opposition to the Tory Government's latest attack on working people.

Union members from the Fire Brigades Union, PCS, Unite, Unison and the CWU from throughout Maghull, Formby and Crosby, turned up with members from throughout the country to oppose the Conservatives' Trade Union Bill and support Labour MPs who are leading the charge in Parliament against it.

Union members co-ordinated their visit to Parliament to coincide with the third reading of the bill which would result in restrictions around picketing, a provision to allow contract workers to break strikes, raised thresholds for ballots on industrial action and a requirement for prior notice for how unions plan to use social media to coordinate action.

Unions warn that the bill will set industrial relations back decades.

After meeting trade union members from Sefton Central, Bill Esterson said he was pleased to see so many people turning up to "oppose this latest Tory attack on working people".

Bill said: "The opposition to the Tory's Trade Union Bill that turned up to Parliament this week was very impressive and shows this government just what opposition there is to this bill.

"The proposed measures in the Trade Union Bill are unnecessary, undemocratic and are a threat to the very civil liberties of working people to take industrial action.

"It is another example of the Conservatives turning the clock back to the dark days of Dickensian Britain when people had no workplace rights and were exploited by their employers."

Following the rally, Tory Business Secretary Sajid Javid announced one element of the bill, which would have seen strikers being gagged from using social media, was to be dropped.

Bill Esterson, who is also Labour Shadow Minister for Small Business, welcomed the climb down, but urged the Conservatives to scrap the bill altogether.

Bill said: "Another one of the proposals under this bill would have seen trade unionists being forced to give the police two weeks' notice before they could even post messages on Facebook and Twitter about any strike action. What this would have done would be to force all trade unionists to register their names with authorities and get police approval before they could even send a tweet.

"The Trade Union Bill is an outrageous attack on our civil liberties and our democracy.

"But it's also bad for business. The government should be promoting collaboration between staff and management. It should be encouraging employers to work with unions. Those countries with strong unions have higher paid workers and they also have stronger economies. There are many good reasons why living standards are higher in Germany. Strong unions and partnership with business is one of the strongest reasons. Yet here we have a government hellbent on destroying trade unions and weakening business and the economy as a result.

"I would like to thank each and every member of a trade union who spoke to me in Parliament this week or sent me an email on this issue.

"The Trade Union Bill is an outright attack on ordinary working people. It is bad for business, for the economy and for workers. The message is clear, the Tories must scrap this bill now."

 

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