A reasonable request

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As a trade union member, I value the role played in defending the rights of workers but do not share the opposition to the Trade Union Bill being stirred up by Labour MPs, including Sharon Hodgson.

At Prime Minister’s Question Time, Ms Hodgson asked a bizarre question in relation to Nissan where, as she should be aware, the sort of industrial strife that the bill aims to stop has never happened. A better example would have been the London Underground strikes which caused disruption to people wanting to get to work and damaged small businesses.

Ms Hodgson, who was less vocal about a £9,000 donation from the CWU trade union, was part of a Labour government which, for 13 years, did not repeal the trade union laws of the Thatcher era.

As with Nissan, a better climate of industrial relations has helped bring foreign firms to the region in stark contrast to the millions of days lost to strikes in the late 1970s, which put foreign investors off.

While some Labour MPs dance to the tune of their trade union paymasters, the public who suffer when strikes are called show consistent support in opinion polls for making strikes more difficult.

This includes insisting on majority support for industrial action rather than allowing strikes to go ahead based on only a minority of members in favour and is surely nothing less than a reasonable proposal.

Robert Oliver