Have your say on the Northern Ireland trade union freedom bill

30 Sep 2020

There is one week left for PCS reps and members in Northern Ireland to have your say on the trade union freedom bill by completing the consultation on it.

It’s crucially important that trade unionists have their say on this important piece of legislation.

Gerry Carroll, assembly member for West Belfast for People Before Profit, is bringing forward the trade union freedom bill which seeks to change 4 elements of the law, in order to allow trade unionists to engage more quickly and effectively in industrial action:

  1. Remove the ban on solidarity/secondary action 
  2. Remove the legal requirement for postal/secret ballots
  3. Reduce the notice period mandated before a ballot for industrial action can be taken
  4. Simplify the nature of the information which unions are required to provide in ballot notice to the employer.

If passed, this bill could be the first step toward re-introducing a balance of power in the workplace, and creating trade union legislation which is fit for the 21st century, after Covid-19.

PCS reps in Northern Ireland have had a number of discussions with the People Before Profit party and Gerry Carroll since 2016.

PCS believes the right to withdraw labour and take industrial action is a fundamental one. It balances the power between employer and employee and has the power to improve and protect workers’ rights, terms and conditions. While this bill is not a complete repeal of Thatcherite anti-trade union legislation it is a solid start.

We have responded in full to the current consultation. We are committed to further talks with People Before Profit as the bill progresses through the Northern Ireland Assembly. We will campaign in support of the bill and keep members involved at each stage.

Please complete a short online survey on the bill.

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