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To think his latest attack on the unions hits a new low?

(132 Posts)
Sixweekstowait Thu 06-Aug-15 08:00:21

With computerised pay rolls, what is the cost to the employers of the automatic deductions of union fees? Another reason the government puts forward is that it will lead to greater transparency as workers will realise they are paying - ffs. No this is just sheer vindictiveness because public sector unions are still relatively powerful. The lessons of history show a close correlation bewteen attacks on union rights and fascism .

mollie123 Thu 06-Aug-15 08:24:06

should always be an opt-in rather than an opt-out - many people do not support trade unions (or the labour party)
fascism - really when workers now have many more rights than history tells us from the past hmm

DamnBamboo Thu 06-Aug-15 08:27:40

Union support should always be an active opt-in. If people believe in what they're doing and how they represent them, they'll pay.

IKnowIAmButWhatAreYou Thu 06-Aug-15 08:30:13


Also, voting should never be assumed. Unless someone actively votes for strike action, apathy shouldn't be taken as support.

TelephoneIgnoringMachine Thu 06-Aug-15 08:40:20

Can't see link for some reason. But I googled the story. Amazing how a lot of the unions step up in support of Corbyn, and the Tories are already looking to cut off their income... Agree with "apathy shouldn't be taken as support". I'm in a union primarily because it could help me personally if I ever needed assistance. Highly doubt we'd strike though (private sector).

Also amazing how many political stories have broken links at the moment. hmm

Preciousbane Thu 06-Aug-15 08:40:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

musicalbingo Thu 06-Aug-15 08:43:01

Unions should be opt in.

DamnBamboo Thu 06-Aug-15 08:50:23

This is nothing to do with closed shop. It's about having to actively organise payment if you want to support them versus an automatic payment (which you can cancel given that closed shop is illegal) but which many who don't actually support the union won't bother to do.

OTheHugeManatee Thu 06-Aug-15 09:00:30

It should be opt-in. And just because you don't like that fact doesn't make it 'fascism'. Read some history and stop being so hyperbolic hmm

TelephoneIgnoringMachine Thu 06-Aug-15 09:01:55

They are opt in?

Sixweekstowait Thu 06-Aug-15 09:02:04

Sorry about the link not working - the issue is about the payment of the membership fees to be a union member. At the moment, if you are a public sector worker, you can sign a form from pay roll to have your fees deducted monthly from your salary. It is then listed on your pay slip as a deduction along with tax, ni etc. It saves the bother of setting up a direct debit and clearly helps the unions but in a transparent way. Public sector employees have a union membership of about 54% so clearly many people feel completely free not to join the union which is fine as they always refuse to take any of the benefits that the unions secure for them This move will reduce union membership because we all know that many people go for the easy option. If membership is reduced, this is an attack on the unions and I don't think it's minor

Sixweekstowait Thu 06-Aug-15 09:05:19

Othe - name a fascist regime that ever supported the idea of trades unionism

OTheHugeManatee Thu 06-Aug-15 09:05:42

To be a bit clearer, no-one is attacking anyone's right to unionise. What is being changed is a system which enables unions to exploit employees' inertia to grab more subscription money than they'd ever get from active supporters. Imagine the outrage if Amazon was somehow able to automatically sign people up to Amazon Prime unless they opted out hmm

Sixweekstowait Thu 06-Aug-15 09:07:53

It's really scarey that the majority on here believe that this is all about opt-in. This really makes the government's job easy because it means you are happy to support anything that they propose that attacks the unions without knowing any of the facts

OTheHugeManatee Thu 06-Aug-15 09:08:47

Bourdic - Nazism was not very keen on Christianity either. Does that mean campaigns for secularisation are also fascist? Your logic is extremely silly.

Sixweekstowait Thu 06-Aug-15 09:10:14

But people are given a choice, they have to sign a form - why would you want to make it harder unless you want to weaken the unions - that's why I described it as vindictive.

Binkybix Thu 06-Aug-15 09:12:39

I'm just about to join a union and would find it a pain to set up a DD but not insurmountable.

I take your point though that people have already opted in if they consent to it being taken through their payroll. It's not as if they are signed up without agreeing to it.

Sixweekstowait Thu 06-Aug-15 09:14:44

Othe - maybe using the word fascism was a bit OTT but in a democracy ( no matter how imperfect) it is surely in everyone's interest to have, allow and encourage opposition and countervailing forces be in other political parties or trades unions. If a government deliberately tries to undermine organised and lawful opposition forces, then isn't this at least unhealthy?

AlbrechtDurer Thu 06-Aug-15 09:19:17

My union subs have always been taken by direct debit. I prefer it that way, too. I don't see why employers should have readily-accessbile lists of who in their organization is a union member.

WaitingForFrostyMornings Thu 06-Aug-15 09:19:37

YABU it should be opt in as standard.

I was horrified 20+ years ago when my agency position was made permanent and they sorted all the paperwork on my behalf. On receiving my first pay packet I queried why I had automatically paid to the union. They said that they always recommend you join a union and they just assumed I wanted them to deduct the payment. They were wrong and it took months to sort out to get them stopped.

I do not support any political party financially and for them to think it's ok to take my money, pay it into a union that supports a political party I do not vote for is unreasonable on their part.

If unions want my money then they should provide me with every detail I need to make an informed choice about membership. They should not assume that because I take a particular job this means I support them.

Sixweekstowait Thu 06-Aug-15 09:21:16

Albrecht- it's completely the employee's choice - dd or deduction from salary

JaneAustinAllegro Thu 06-Aug-15 09:21:32

really it seems such a blindingly obvious thing for a Tory government to do, I'm amazed it wasn't done decades ago (or were payments less likely to be DD back then?). It does however seem an unfair / poor use of public funding - why should non union members contribute towards facilitating union membership subs for others?

TelephoneIgnoringMachine Thu 06-Aug-15 09:24:11

If this goes through, surely it means those of us who want to be / stay in a union, just set up a DD payment though. It's not that hard, especially with Internet banking. Even if it's not currently opt in (which it always has been for me, and I agree it should be for everyone). It's another dirty government tactic. No union, no organisation, no possibility of strike if your working conditions are unreasonable or unsafe, no protection at work on an individual basis.

Sixweekstowait Thu 06-Aug-15 09:35:24

Telephone - I agree that it's easy to set up a dd but not everyone is organised and the unions would probably pay the price of this - not that people don't want to join but that it's probably not high on the list of priorities ( until a problem happens). And it is opt in - as said above, closed shops disappeared a long time ago ( and quite rightly in a democracy). In some of the work I do I see the real benefits of union membership on an individual basis - people having their job saved because of union representation when they would not have succeeded on their own. My own dd needed the union when managers used her absence on maternity leave to try and reorganise her out of her job. Calling strikes is such a minuscule part of a TU but supporting individuals happens daily. Why make it harder for this to happen ? Oh wait.....

DontCallMeBaby Thu 06-Aug-15 09:35:47

My union has put a huge amount of effort, at a cost to all their other activities, getting people off check-off and onto DD - because despite reassurances we all know the notice won't really be sufficient to get people across and not throttle union finances.

Fortunately our branch have established we have a right to check-off in our contracts. If not I just know there would be people who'd forget to set up DDs then be horrified to find out they weren't members when they needed us.

As to strike ballots, I agree a failure to vote shouldn't be taken as support. But neither should it be taken as opposition - it's just a failure to vote, it means your opinion, should you even have one, counts for nothing. Just like in a general election.

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