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AN EARLY day motion moved by Labour MP Faisal Rashid that would see restrictions on trade union access to workplaces lifted received its second reading today.
Mr Rashid pointed to New Zealand’s employment relations amendment act passed last year that ensures companies provide unions with a space to meet staff and pays staff for reasonable time spent with their union rep, so long as unions give them some notice that they are visiting.
But some firms in Britain bent over backwards to stop unions accessing staff, he charged, reporting the case of a worker from north London called Mohamed who was “excited at the prospect of working alongside his colleagues to improve basic things at work, like getting his shifts 10 days in advance so that he can plan his life” but was told by McDonald’s management he was banned from every store in the area.
“Workers at Amazon have reported shift patterns being interrupted and randomised simply to prevent staff from talking to union officials on the way to work. In its recently published report on InterContinental Hotels Group, Unite documented a culture of fear and bullying, with management pressurising low-paid staff into working for eight to 10 days straight,” while at social care giant Bupa was refusing Unison access to workplaces to speak to staff, he said.
Bakers’ union BFAWU national fast food organiser Gareth Lane said currently “anti-union employers such as McDonald’s are able to misinform and lie to workers about their rights.
“Access to workplaces based on the New Zealand model will ensure that the fear of joining a union is removed and union presence in the workplace becomes a normal, everyday thing.”
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