During #heartunions week, the Trades Union Congress is running events throughout England and Wales and encouraging every union to run activities of their own.
Big Workplace Meeting
The TUC has called a Big Workplace Meeting for Tuesday 9 February. The idea is for as many union branches as possible to hold a meeting of members in their own workplace, all starting at the same time, 12.30pm.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady and a special guest will make a live broadcast via YouTube. She will give an update on progress of the Trade Union bill and there will be a chance to ask questions. Branches will be able to access the broadcast by logging into www.heartunions.org for a live feed from 12.45pm-1pm.
Where audiovisual equipment is not available, members are encouraged to bring their own devices – laptops, pads or smartphones – so they can join in.
Branches may want to discuss other workplace issues as part of their meeting either before or after the live broadcast.
Union members are encouraged to post any questions about the bill in advance on Twitter using the hashtag #heartunions. If there is not enough time to answer all questions during the live broadcast, the replies will be posted immediately afterwards via Twitter.
The Trade Union bill seeks to shift the balance of power in the workplace in favour of employers, and the government is trying to get it through Parliament with as little scrutiny as possible.
The week of action will help raise awareness and keep up the pressure as the bill moves through the House of Lords during February.
While the government made a few small concessions in the Commons stages of debate, the bill still fundamentally undermines unions at many levels.
New balloting thresholds will make it much harder to take strike action. The bill also hits at unions’ ability to represent their members. Examples include removing the ability of workers in the public sector and related organisations to pay their subs direct from salary via check-off, and changing the rules on political funds.
Share your activities
- Reps are asked to tell Prospect’s legal team about any branch holding a workplace meeting on 9 February, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org The Big Workplace Meeting ties in well with Prospect’s own campaign on workers’ rights – to find out more, download Legal Eye – Prospect at Work Campaign Special. Further details will be coming soon.
- Please tell the TUC your plans, by 26 January, via https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BWM16
- Members can download a poster to advertise their meeting via the #heartunions campaign website.
- Visit the dedicated #heartunions website.