Laws a threat to civil rights

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I wonder how many readers are aware that the Government is trying to pass laws which threaten some of our basic civil rights?

They are threatening the right to strike, defend our work and pay, and stand up for decent services. It’s astonishing too that people wanting to protest would have to register with the police and declare their intentions to use Twitter.

Together, the laws would tilt the balance heavily towards employers at a time when zero-hour contracts are being widely imposed and job insecurity is rife.

This heavy handed approach is unnecessary – strike action is the last resort for workers, and we’re not a country plagued by strikes.

The fact that the Government is threatening how union political funds are collected leads to the conclusion that they just want to gag opposition.

At the same time, families and neighbourhoods could be bitterly divided if the Government succeeds in its aim to allow agency temps – often from our community – to fill in when employees do go on strike. Inexperienced agency workers could also put public safety at risk and impact upon service quality.

I’m urging your readers to email their MP now to ask him or her to vote against the Trade Union Bill. I also encourage readers to ask their MP to vote to keep the ban on employers using agency workers to break strikes.

We mustn’t remain silent.

Steve Keeley

Communication Workers

Union, Sunderland