Day 4 TUC 2013: Trade unions won’t be gagged

“This Bill is about state control of free trade unions” Tony Kearns told Congress when seconding emergency motion 5 on the government’s controversial Lobbying Bill. Accusing the Government of “messing up big time”, Tony said there was “no evidence that the measures in the Bill are needed.” Yesterday, Lib Dem MPs refused to vote for any amendments to the Bill, prompting Tony to challenge: “Nick Clegg needs to get a dictionary and look up what the words ‘Liberal’ and ‘Democrat’ mean. This Bill is about gagging democratic debate and saying that politics is not for ordinary people. It’s about trying to get the trade union movement to shut up. But we won’t be shut up.”

In moving the motion, James Anderson from Unison said: “These rotten Tories – yellow and blue – have turned a scandal about their rich lobbying mates into an attack on democracy.” He pointed out how the Bill had brought together “the widest coalition imaginable, from the Countryside Alliance to Greenpeace” against the Bill. “Such an illiberal attack is being supported by the Lib Dems. We need to not water down this Bill but defeat it.”

Congress unanimously passed the motion.

Today (Wednesday) is the final day of TUC 2013.

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