Ahead of this afternoon’s Scottish Parliament debate on the UK Government’s Trade Union Bill, Patrick Harvie called on public sector employers to commit to a programme of non-compliance.
The Scottish Government motion for debate simply says the parliament opposes and condemns the Bill. An amendment put forward by Mr Harvie, calling for non-compliance and support for trade unions taking necessary industrial action, was not selected for debate by the Presiding Officer.
It comes as SNP-led North Ayrshire Council says it will not to comply with the Bill, following similar statements by Labour-led councils in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Renfrewshire and Stirling.
STUC general secretary Grahame Smith told the recent Scottish Greens conference that he is prepared to break the law to resist the Bill.
Patrick Harvie, MSP for Glasgow and a member of Holyrood’s economy committee, said:
“The UK Tory government attack on workers’ rights must be resisted. Stating opposition isn’t enough.
“With draconian measures such as fines of up to £20,000 for picket supervisors not wearing armbands, we will need the determination to defy this law if it’s passed. Scottish ministers have said everything possible would be done to oppose the Bill, but we need a firm commitment from them that the public sector and trade unions in Scotland will be supported by the Scottish Government in refusing to implement the UK government’s attack on working people’s basic rights.”
Scottish Government motion for debate:
That the Parliament opposes and condemns the Trade Union Bill as proposed by the UK Government; believes that it restricts the fundamental rights of workers to organise, bargain collectively and, if necessary, withdraw their labour, and further believes that it will both undermine the effective engagement of trade unions across Scottish workplaces and, in particular, across the Scottish public sector.
Amendment put forward by Patrick Harvie:
Insert at end “, and agrees that, if the Bill is passed, the Scottish Government and other public sector employers should commit to a programme of non-compliance with the legislation and should support those trade unions taking necessary industrial action in defiance of it”.