Press releases

As one door closes another one opens. John McDonnell tops the Private Members’  Bill ballot

10th June 2010

John McDonnell MP has been drawn first in the Private Members’ Bill Ballot today and has opted for bill to tackle abuse of trade union ballots by employers.

John McDonnell said: 

“It’s a funny old world, as one door closes another one opens. Coming top in this poll will enable me to tackle an abuse of the current employment laws by employers that I have tried to reform for the last 4 years. ”

“As we have seen in the current BA Cabin Crew dispute and many other recent disputes, employers have been able to exploit a loophole in the existing law by using minor technical errors in a trade union ballot for industrial action to frustrate the democratic decisions of trade unionists who wish to take action. This resort to the courts by some ruthless employers is bringing current employment law into disrepute and undermining industrial relations in this country. The courts are being dragged into disputes and used as weapons in the hands of bullying employers.

“Even where there have been overwhelming majorities in ballots in favour of strike action, minor technicalities which would have no material effect on the outcome of the ballot, are being exploited to negate the democratic decision of the trade unionists involved. This cannot be right and in the interests of good industrial relations needs to be addressed.”

Over the past four years John has made several attempts to tackle this issue by introducing amendments to the then Government’s employment legislation and promoting in Parliament the TUC backed Trade Union Freedom Bill.

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