Trade union freedom bill will make it easier to take effective strike action, says Eamonn McCann

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Eamonn McCann says a proposed new Trade Union Freedom Bill he intends bringing before the Stormont Assembly will make it easier for workers to take strike action.

Launching the bill this week, Mr. McCann said it would lift restrictions on trade union organisation in the North. “Northern Ireland has some of the most restrictive labour legislation in Europe. This legislation has significantly curtailed the ability of trade unions to take effective strike action, and has severely weakened the ability of unions to defend their member’s pay and conditions,” said the Foyle MLA.

“Strong workplace representation is crucial to tackling low pay and to creating a more equal society. However, the current legislation is far too restrictive and is therefore a contributing factor to the scale of inequality in Northern Ireland, and to the region’s reputation as a low wage economy.

“At a time when the gap between the rich and the poor is relentlessly widening in the North my hope is that this bill will pass, and that it will enhance the ability of people in the bottom half of society to seek to redress this anomaly through collective action. There has never been a serious attempt to rescind these laws, despite the belief of the majority of Trade Union members and supporters that they are restrictive, unsuitable and a denial of rights,” he said.