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Tory anti-worker plans must be scrapped

Updated: Apr 17, 2023


East Dunbartonshire MP, Amy Callaghan, has called on the UK government to scrap plans to introduce legislation that will restrict workers’ rights.

Under the UK government’s plans, drawn up by former hedge-fund manager Jacob Rees Mogg MP, bosses would be able to sue trade unions and sack striking workers. Ms Callaghan said this was a “direct attack on workers’ rights” and would undermine a “fundamental part of our democracy”.

The plans have been condemned by trade union bosses, with Unison saying that the UK government was “picking ill-advised fights with NHS employees”, while the Royal College of Nursing said the move was “undemocratic”.

Rishi Sunak and his government have fast-tracked the proposed legislation amid strikes across the public sector. Unlike the Scottish Government which has reached agreement with several groups of workers, UK ministers are refusing to negotiate until strikes are called off.

During a parliamentary debate in September last year, Ms Callaghan said the only way to “look after workers” was for the full devolution of employment law to Scotland. The East Dunbartonshire MP is now challenging Labour and the Liberal Democrats to provide clarity on their positions, and said it was “on opposition parties to explain why they would prefer the Tories war on workers over a Scottish approach of treating workers with respect”.

Commenting, Amy Callaghan MP said:

“Families and workers across the UK are suffering under the cost of living crisis that has been made so much worse by the reckless actions of Westminster. Instead of recognising the challenges people are facing, Rishi Sunak and his chums have taken a leaf straight out of the Thatcher playbook and declared war on workers.

“The reality is that while workers in the private sector have received on average 6.6 percent pay rises, public sector wages have only increased by 2.7 percent. That is in the face of inflation running at 10.7 percent, food inflation at 16.5 percent, and soaring energy costs.

“As ever, the Tories are siding with bosses and attempting to demonise workers who are simply asking for reasonable pay. Striking is the only tool available to staff to send a message to government, so of course the Tories want to remove that right.

“It’s clear that the only way to protect workers’ rights is to have the full powers over employment law in Scotland, either through further devolution or, my preference, independence.”

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