Unite survey shows just one in ten people think trade union legislation is a priority

Tim Lezard Europe, UK, Unite, Union busting

killthebillThe public believes the government is wasting precious Parliamentary time on the Trade Union Bill, according to a survey for Unite.

The Survation poll showed just 11% of people ranked trade union legislation as a top ten issue that this government should be concerning with. Respondents were asked to rank 20 issues in total that they think MPs should be concerning themselves with. The NHS came 1st and trade union legislation came last at 20th.

The Bill is expected to have its third reading today.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “The Trade Union Bill has no popular support. This legislation is designed to take away people’s power and hand it to the few.

“It’s a disgrace that at a time when the NHS is creaking at the seams this government is wasting precious Parliamentary time on a bill that only benefits bosses who want to cut your pay, steal your pension or lay you off.

“The overwhelming majority of people in this country support the basic right to take industrial action. Plus most people want to see industrial action ballots modernised by giving workers the right to vote securely at work.

“If the government was serious about boosting participation it would make sense to give people the right to vote securely at work on issues that affect their lives at work.”


Just 2% of those polled ranked trade union legislation a top three priority even though the trade union bill was one of the first pieces of new legislation brought before parliament since the general election in May 2015.

The poll also showed overwhelming support for the right to strike with 84% of those that expressed an opinion backing this fundamental right. Moreover most people polled supported the modernisation of strike ballots through the introduction of secure workplace ballots in order to drive up participation. Of those that expressed an opinion 71% back giving workers the ability to vote for industrial action at work through a secure balloting process.

The poll also reveals that working people are most concerned about pay and job security at work compared to being asked to take strike action which comes bottom.


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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