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Trade Union Bill passed

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backontrack

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Hidden in with all the shenanigans about Corbyn...

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/trade-union-act-becomes-law

The Trade Union Bill receives Royal Assent and becomes the Trade Union Act.

People will be protected from undemocratic industrial action as the Trade Union Bill receives Royal Assent today (4 May 2016) and becomes the Trade Union Act.

The government announced a series of modernising reforms last year (2015) to ensure strikes can only go ahead as a result of a clear and positive democratic mandate from union members: upholding the ability to strike while reducing disruption to millions of people.

The Trade Union Act will ensure industrial action only ever goes ahead when there has been a ballot turnout of at least 50%.

In important public services, including in the health, education, transport, border security and fire sectors, an additional threshold of 40% of support to take industrial action from all eligible members must be met for action to be legal.

During the Parliamentary process, the government agreed to commission an independent review into electronic balloting within 6 months.

Employment Minister Nick Boles:

"These changes will ensure people are only ever disrupted by industrial action when it is supported by a reasonable proportion of union members. The Trade Union Act means the rights of the public to go about their lives are fairly balanced with members’ ability to strike.

This piece of legislation delivers key manifesto commitments."

'Undemocratic' strikes? For them, that means any strike.
 
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DarloRich

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interesting that thoroughly decent Tory MP's don't have to satisfy similar requirements to be elected. Interestingly on line voting for the Tory candidate for Mayor of London was perfectly acceptable but on line voting in a TU ballot is shockingly unsafe, apparently. Shameful really. Will play well with the usual race to the bottom crew though.

It will simply lead to a change in tactics. Work to rule, not in my job description, my hours are up mate, sorry etc will become much more popular and they can be much more inconvenient than an all out strike.
 
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SS4

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Words fail me.

Of course the PCC elections, with very low turnout, are entirely legitimate.
 

Nym

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All they'll do now though is make everything part of your job description and have gross misconduct against not fulfilling it, the cuts in UK worker rights continue for this race to widen the divide.
 

HMS Ark Royal

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For what reason? Do you also think that MP's should have to meet the same voting threshold?

Some strikes have had less than 30% of persons in total going for an "out" and this is classed as a win.

All I am saying is that a minimum voting of level of 50.00000001% is much fairer and better representative.

As for the same system for MPs, that wouldn't work with our system of politics - I voted against it the last time it was brought up
 

DarloRich

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Some strikes have had less than 30% of persons in total going for an "out" and this is classed as a win.

All I am saying is that a minimum voting of level of 50.00000001% is much fairer and better representative.

As for the same system for MPs, that wouldn't work with our system of politics - I voted against it the last time it was brought up

David Cameron got 36.8% of the vote at the last election yet has a mandate to bring in all kinds of social change and his electoral victory was "classed as a win"

I suggest your view of unions is based on media spin rather than first hand knowledge.
 

HMS Ark Royal

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I suggest your view of unions is based on media spin rather than first hand knowledge.

I know about unions, I just dislike them as a rule when they vote for strike when they don't get their way like spoilt children. Now, of course, that is not to say I hate Unions (I was in one myself for a while) as they do serve a useful purpose at times.
 

DarloRich

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I know about unions, I just dislike them as a rule when they vote for strike when they don't get their way like spoilt children. Now, of course, that is not to say I hate Unions (I was in one myself for a while) as they do serve a useful purpose at times.

so they should, like Oliver Twist, bow and scrape and be glad of a few crumbs thrown to them? :roll:

Why is David Cameron allowed to become Prime Minster on a "win" of 36.8% but the awful bolshie unions must have 99.99999% majority to strike?
 

SS4

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As for the same system for MPs, that wouldn't work with our system of politics - I voted against it the last time it was brought up

That is one hell of a double standard. Why shouldn't we change our system of politics to be more representative? "It's too hard" or "it's traditional" simply isn't good enough nor is "it's too expensive" despite what the Tories said last time.
 

DarloRich

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I agree this legislation is designed to ensure that workers rights are the same across all industries: none!

The Tories want a pliant, obsequious, servile, subservient work force too scared to complain about poor treatment for fear of dismissal. This is just the next stage in their journey. ( See changes to employment tribunals)

We will ALL suffer because of this agenda, yet many of you seem keen to surrender your rights or perhaps more pointedly you are keen to surrender the rights of others rather than improve your own rights. Why is that?
 
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me123

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So... 90% for a strike?

No, a minimum of 50% of the electorate must vote. Out of the electorate (not just those who voted, everyone), a minimum of 40% of the electorate must have voted in favour of strike action. These are not the same thing, so it's not correct to add them together and state that you need 90% support for a strike. You don't. These are two separate criteria.

For a strike to be legal under this new act in these important services, you require a majority turnout and a high level of support. With a 60% turnout, you'd require at least 2/3 of the vote to be supportive of strike action.

What an undemocratic nonsense this is. Funny that the Conservatives (on the whole) staunchly oppose electoral reform when it applies to them :roll:
 

ainsworth74

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Funny that the Conservatives (on the whole) staunchly oppose electoral reform when it applies to them :roll:

Though it's not as if Labour are tripping over themselves to bring in electoral reform either (though they are generally tripping over themselves it must be said :lol:)! That being said just about the only thing that I like about the SNP is that they are in favour of PR (especially considering they do so well out of FPTP).
 

me123

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That being said just about the only thing that I like about the SNP is that they are in favour of PR (especially considering they do so well out of FPTP).

They've only done well in FPTP in very recent memory, it wasn't that long ago that it was screwing them over as well! I hope they remember that fact further down the line...
 

Bald Rick

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David Cameron got 36.8% of the vote at the last election yet has a mandate to bring in all kinds of social change and his electoral victory was "classed as a win"

That's slightly disingenuous, as it is not comparing the same thing.

Ballots for industrial action are yes / no. There will always be one result with greater than 50% of the vote, and it is de facto a first past the post system, with the post set at 50%. Also, anyone asked to vote in such a ballot will, or at least should, have a view, as the issue at stake will directly affect them. It's difficult to sit on the fence on a simple yes/no for a matter of such personal importance, and really they should vote. Low turnout is, in my view, difficult to explain.

Leaving aside the principle that the only people who actually voted for David Cameron are in the constituency of Witney (where he won 60.2% of the vote), voting for parliamentary elections is rather different than a yes / no. In most constituencies at the last election it was at least a four horse race. Some people have very strong political leanings. Many don't. Many like some policies of one party, and some policies of another. Deciding who to vote for is not so easy in such a circumstance, and many don't vote as a result. Nevertheless, in a multi candidate ballot in a first past the post system, getting more than 50% is not necessary to win, both at constituency level and for parliament as a whole. Indeed only once since Irish independence in 1922 has any UK Government had more than 50% of the popular vote, and that was the Conservatives in 1931.

So to compare the 'scoring' of two ballots with the same voting method (first past the post) but with different potential outcomes (two vs four or more), is statistically irrelevant.
 
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me123

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^ Have you ever heard of the Alternative Vote? It's a great improvement on the FPTP system that allows voters to rank preferences, and after run-offs it ensures that the winner has broad support of the electorate. If only we'd ever had an option to adopt this system...

I digress.
 
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DarloRich

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That's slightly disingenuous, as it is not comparing the same thing.

Ballots for industrial action are yes / no. There will always be one result with greater than 50% of the vote, and it is de facto a first past the post system, with the post set at 50%. Also, anyone asked to vote in such a ballot will, or at least should, have a view, as the issue at stake will directly affect them. It's difficult to sit on the fence on a simple yes/no for a matter of such personal importance, and really they should vote. Low turnout is, in my view, difficult to explain.

Leaving aside the principle that the only people who actually voted for David Cameron are in the constituency of Witney (where he won 60.2% of the vote), voting for parliamentary elections is rather different than a yes / no. In most constituencies at the last election it was at least a four horse race. Some people have very strong political leanings. Many don't. Many like some policies of one party, and some policies of another. Deciding who to vote for is not so easy in such a circumstance, and many don't vote as a result. Nevertheless, in a multi candidate ballot in a first past the post system, getting more than 50% is not necessary to win, both at constituency level and for parliament as a whole. Indeed only once since Irish independence in 1922 has any UK Government had more than 50% of the popular vote, and that was the Conservatives in 1931.

So to compare the 'scoring' of two ballots with the same voting method (first past the post) but with different potential outcomes (two vs four or more), is statistically irrelevant.

technically the answers in a strike ballot are usually yes/no/maybe (as in action short of a strike)

The Trade Union Act will ensure industrial action only ever goes ahead when there has been a ballot turnout of at least 50%. That means, to me, that 50% of all members must vote in favour of strike action, not 50% of the members concerned.

You haven't indicated if you think this is "good" legislation.

PS - good to see the party of the workers and strivers taking a stand against those lazy, skiving, workshy, disgusting lefties. How dare they stand up for workers rights. oh hang on......................
 
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Bald Rick

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technically the answers in a strike ballot are usually yes/no/maybe (as in action short of a strike)

Not so. Every ballot I've been involved in (and it's quite a few) it is yes/no; if action short of a strike is proposed that is a separate yes/no.

As in

"Are you prepared to take strike action yes / no", and,

"Are you prepared to take action short of a strike yes /no"


As to my opinion - for what it's worth I do agree that for a ballot for industrial action to be valid, it should be voted on by more than 50% of the eligible 'electorate'. If an issue of industrial relations is so severe that the withdrawal of labour (and thus guaranteed loss of personal income) is to be considered, how can anyone involved not be bothered to vote or leave it to others? In my view the 50% turnout bar should be higher.

However in my view also, voting in Parliamentary elections should be compulsory, with appropriate safeguards for those unable to, along with a voting option of 'abstain', or less politely 'I don't want any of these candidates' (which certainly applies in my constituency).

I don't agree with the (quite separate) 40% of all eligible voters to vote for action regardless of turnout, unless of course the minimum turnout bar was set to 80% at which point the former is irrelevant.
 

DarloRich

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but the problem with 50% of the eligible 'electorate' position is that it makes it impossible to strike and by extension impossible to complain about your treatment.

Would you as an RMT member working in a ticket office in Bolton, say, vote for a dock yard strike in Cardiff upon which you had no view or knowledge and had no impact upon your work or life? 50% of the electorate in the affected zone or area is one thing, but 50 of ALL members (impacted or not) is quite another.

it is also especially fishy when electronic voting, which would be an easy way for many people to be involved in the process and increase participation, is too insecure ( for these purposes) but perfectly secure for choosing a conservative candidate for mayor of London!

This legislation is on no way designed to improve industrial relations in this country.
 

Bald Rick

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But the 'eligible electorate' isn't the whole Union membership. It's the union membership in the relevant representative area or bargaining group. This can be national (eg signallers) or local (eg signallers in one area council area), or even more local (signallers in one local council area).

I know of one local dispute many years ago at a large station where the representative area was all TSSA members working at that station. The TSSA membership was 1, who also happened to be Union rep. A ballot was called. 100% turnout. 100% vote yes to strike. Not sure if the strike happened, but no one would have noticed!
 

Barn

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That's slightly disingenuous, as it is not comparing the same thing.

Ballots for industrial action are yes / no. There will always be one result with greater than 50% of the vote, and it is de facto a first past the post system, with the post set at 50%. Also, anyone asked to vote in such a ballot will, or at least should, have a view, as the issue at stake will directly affect them. It's difficult to sit on the fence on a simple yes/no for a matter of such personal importance, and really they should vote. Low turnout is, in my view, difficult to explain.

Leaving aside the principle that the only people who actually voted for David Cameron are in the constituency of Witney (where he won 60.2% of the vote), voting for parliamentary elections is rather different than a yes / no. In most constituencies at the last election it was at least a four horse race. Some people have very strong political leanings. Many don't. Many like some policies of one party, and some policies of another. Deciding who to vote for is not so easy in such a circumstance, and many don't vote as a result. Nevertheless, in a multi candidate ballot in a first past the post system, getting more than 50% is not necessary to win, both at constituency level and for parliament as a whole. Indeed only once since Irish independence in 1922 has any UK Government had more than 50% of the popular vote, and that was the Conservatives in 1931.

So to compare the 'scoring' of two ballots with the same voting method (first past the post) but with different potential outcomes (two vs four or more), is statistically irrelevant.

I agree with all of the above, but the votes are also different for another reason.

A vote to elect a person to fill an office MUST produce an outcome, however dissatisfyingly unpopular the most popular choice turns out to be. (It would be possible to deal with this through an AV system, but that was rejected by the electorate.)

That is not the case for a vote on a motion where maintaining the status quo is a perfectly feasible outcome.
 

Tetchytyke

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A vote to elect a person to fill an office MUST produce an outcome, however dissatisfyingly unpopular the most popular choice turns out to be.

Why must it? Students' Union, and other trade union, elections usually have "Re-Open Nominations" on ballot papers, regardless of counting method. It's not unheard of for RON to win, either.

Belgium, famously, didn't have a functioning government for 589 days back in 2010/11. Their world didn't end.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
it is also especially fishy when electronic voting, which would be an easy way for many people to be involved in the process and increase participation, is too insecure ( for these purposes) but perfectly secure for choosing a conservative candidate for mayor of London!

Students' Unions use electronic voting, and have done for many years, and nobody bats an eyelid about it. It was electronic ballots at my SU when I was a student, and that was in 2001. You'd think 15 years of technological advancement might enable it now.

This legislation is on no way designed to improve industrial relations in this country.

Of course it isn't, it's designed to destroy the right to strike. Along with the charges for Employment Tribunal cases, it's about destroying employment rights. Remember the Tories employed an "employment tsar"- the boss of those bastions of ethical business Wonga- who proposed abolishing all employment rights as "the cost of red tape was too high".

Still, when you have the gullible and the credulous swallowing the horse dung about "unions throwing their toys out of the pram" and "striking at the drop of a hat" (even though strike action costs a bloody fortune), it's no wonder the Tories can get this through.

Interesting timing of the "antisemitism" crisis- created by the alcoholic Tory hedge fund manager behind the pseudonym Guido Fawkes- isn't it. It's almost as though David Cameron's entire political strategy is simply to throw dead cats on the table.
 
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DarloRich

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But the 'eligible electorate' isn't the whole Union membership. It's the union membership in the relevant representative area or bargaining group. This can be national (eg signallers) or local (eg signallers in one area council area), or even more local (signallers in one local council area).

Whilst what you say is very sensible the wording of the new statue doesn't appear to say that. Although s.227 of the 1992 act may still cover the voting group under the new act!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Students' Unions use electronic voting, and have done for many years, and nobody bats an eyelid about it. It was electronic ballots at my SU when I was a student, and that was in 2001. You'd think 15 years of technological advancement might enable it now.

The government do. It is unsafe, apparently. They had to be forced by the Lords to commission an independent study into electronic voting and whether it may be used for TU votes!
 

Barn

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Whilst what you say is very sensible the wording of the new statue doesn't appear to say that. Although s.227 of the 1992 act may still cover the voting group under the new act!

The new Act is really an amending statute and the provisions we are discussing simply modify section 226 of the 1992 Act.

Ballots are still to be held under the 1992 Act (as amended) and the other sections of that Act will continue to apply.
 
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TheKnightWho

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Students' Unions use electronic voting, and have done for many years, and nobody bats an eyelid about it. It was electronic ballots at my SU when I was a student, and that was in 2001. You'd think 15 years of technological advancement might enable it now.

We also do... and the returning officer used all of the spare voter codes to vote for his choice in the NUS disaffiliation referendum, tipping the balance. He was caught because of an eagle-eyed deputy RO looked over where all the votes had come from, and spotted that over 1,000 had been lodged at the same time from the same location: the RO had, fortunately, been a complete moron.

I agree electronic voting would be preferable, but there need to be enough secure measures in place. Potential fraudsters in the general election I can guarantee would be a lot more sophisticated in their methods and much harder to spot.
 

Tetchytyke

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We also do... and the returning officer used all of the spare voter codes to vote for his choice in the NUS disaffiliation referendum, tipping the balance. He was caught because of an eagle-eyed deputy RO looked over where all the votes had come from, and spotted that over 1,000 had been lodged at the same time from the same location: the RO had, fortunately, been a complete moron.

I've seen some fraud in some of the SU and college elections I've been involved with, usually by a student in a position of power (i.e. the returning officer or the comms officer). But any voting system has weakness: pencil marks can be rubbed out, pen marks can be changed to spoil a paper or, as happened in Witney last night, 70+ papers for the Labour candidate can be found "under a pile of Tory papers" whose discovery changed the result of the ballot.

I'd say electronic voting would be safer than the postal ballots we receive now as trade union members. After all, let's face it, TU elections have even less national importance or significance than an NUS election.
 

ExRes

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After all, let's face it, TU elections have even less national importance or significance than an NUS election.

I assume you have made a typing error with this statement, either that or you consider an NUS election to be more important than a TU election that cripples the entire countries train services, air traffic control, rubbish collection, lorry deliveries etc etc etc, I know students are rather important, to themselves even if to nobody else, but you perhaps need to get your realities of life into some sort of order
 
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