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Issue #1698      August 19, 2015

Tories “disaster for workers”

BRITAIN: The Tories’ first 100 days in government have been disastrous for workers’ rights, trade union leaders say. Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to hail what he sees as the main achievements made since the general election on May 7 when he returns from a family holiday in Portugal.

His all-blue administration, which marks its 100th day, has made reforms to strike laws a priority.

But TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said he was intent on tipping the balance too far in favour of employers, with protests expected to mount over the coming months.

“This government has set its sights firmly on undermining the right to strike with the publication of the Trade Union Bill,” she said.

“Measures like allowing employers to use agency workers to cover the jobs of striking workers and requiring workers to give 14 days’ notice of what they plan to post on Facebook during a strike will shift the balance of power in the workplace too far in the favour of the employers.

“Together, the government’s trade union proposals will mean workers can’t defend their jobs or pay or stand up for decent services and safety at work.”

Joining the criticism, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said the first 100 days had shown how “divisive” the Conservatives were.

“Democratic governments do not plunge their citizens into such powerlessness. Yet this first full Tory government in 19 years embarks on an angry, regressive program, not one element of which answers the big questions of the age.”

Morning Star

Next article – Tripping up claimants

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