Christina McKelvie MSP and Convener of the SNP Parliamentary Trade Union Group spoke in today's debate on the Westminster Trade Union Bill. The Scottish Parliament voted cross-party against the Bill.

“Tonight’s vote in the Scottish Parliament against the Trade Union Bill was a welcome reminder that Scotland completely rejects this Tory government’s outrageous attacks on workers’ rights – and I was pleased to see Labour MSPs join with the SNP in standing against these regressive plans. 

“But Labour’s support for today’s motion simply begs the question why they voted against the SNP’s plans to devolve powers over industrial relations to Scotland – rather than leaving them in the hands of a Tory government engaged in a relentless and sustained assault on our Trade Unions.

“The Trade Union Bill is nothing less than an attack on the rights of workers across the UK and hampers the rights of devolved administrations, local authorities and other public bodies to determine their own industrial relations.  That’s why it’s so vital that Scotland’s voice is not ignored – and why these plans should require a Legislative Consent Motion in the Scottish Parliament before they can be imposed on workers and unions here.

“Devolving powers over industrial relations would have allowed the Scottish Parliament to take a new and better approach – supporting the work of our unions rather than attacking them.  That Labour would rather leave these powers in David Cameron’s hands giving him carte blanche to undermine unions in Scotland is as bewildering as it is wrong – and they will have to answer to workers across the country for their decision.

“The overwhelming majority of Scotland’s elected representatives oppose this legislation and recognise that Trade Unions play a positive and constructive role in our economy and our society.  And Trade Unionists and workers across the country can be assured that the SNP will continue to do everything we can to fight this anti-worker legislation every step of the way.”The SNP has welcomed today’s vote in the Scottish Parliament opposing the UK Government’s Trade Union Bill, which saw Labour join with the SNP in voting against the Tory plans – but has raised questions over Labour’s refusal to back the transfer of powers over industrial relations earlier this week." 

The vote today rejected the Bill as a restriction on the fundamental rights of workers which will undermine the ability of Trade Unions to effectively engage in workplaces across Scotland – and was passed with votes from the SNP, Labour, Lib Dem, Green and independent MSPs.   

The Scottish Government has already asked the UK Government to exclude Scotland from the Trade Union Bill in its entirety – and has been clear that if they are unwilling to do so, the consent of the Scottish Parliament should be sought before the legislation is imposed on Scotland.