Monday, 11 January 2016

Trade Union legislation and devolved powers

Interesting coverage in the Wasting Mule in that Former Welsh Secretary Peter Hain will today use his new position in the House of Lords to demand that the UK Government’s highly controversial plans for trade union regulation are not forced on Wales.

Lord Hain will argue it should be up to the National Assembly to decide how relationships with trade unions are administered in schools, hospitals and other public services.

Lord Hain said: 

“It is essential for the devolution settlement to work that the prime minister respects the wishes of the Welsh Government especially as on the Trade Union Bill it is backed by parties other than Labour in the Assembly. It should be for politicians and people in Wales not in London to decide how trade union relationships within public services are organised in Wales.
“These public services are devolved. The detail of how hospitals, schools and other vital services are administered is a Welsh matter established under the 1998 and 1996 Government of Wales Acts and endorsed by two referendums.
“I hope the Secretary of State for Wales will respect this and ensure that the Assembly is able to determine this through either a Legislative Consent Motion or other Welsh specific amendments to the Trade Union Bill.”
Personally I would tend to concur with the sentiment  pf the Tanned One but lets face it it would be  rather odd to see Trade Union Laws not  applying to those working in devolved public services . Whilst those who are not  and those working outside the Public sector will be subject to the full force of this draconian measure.

However with Junior doctors are set to go on strike for three days, starting next Tuesday, in protest at the threat by the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to impose a new contract on them after talks failed to resolve the dispute. a precedent could be said to be set 

After all if doctors in Wales and Scotland are  in dispute with their Governments shouldn't they be subject to to employment laws of the devolved government?
But lets face how hypocritical of Hain and Labour to be so selective of Devolved powers and if you want to protect Unions in Wales then argue that all Employment Legislation is devolved

Plaid seems to concur with the Tanned Ones and Labour's argument in part.
Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards will address the rally opposing the Laws.

He said
“The UK Government has made no attempt to consider [how] the Bill impacts in Wales and in particular, on our public services. Westminster’s attempts at railroading this regressive Bill will only serve to strengthen Plaid Cymru’s call to devolve responsibility for employment law from Westminster to the National Assembly.
“That is the only way to protect the rights of Welsh workers from these punitive and brutal measures.
But he does believe like Labour that at least under the current devolution settlement should be taken into consideration
Plaid Cymru will continue to push hard for the UK Government to seek Welsh Government consent before the most contentious parts of the Bill can take effect in relation to devolved matters such as Health, Education and Local Government.”
So Plaid at least have the preference for Wales to have control of employment Law.

Personally  I would rather see the whole Bill defeated as I wouldn't like to see workers in England subject to it anymore than Welsh or Scottish ones.

But if we can only protect a few in Wales it will be worth it.


  1. I agree Glyn that we can only do so much. The people of England have by continually voting for right wing parties made their bed and sadly have to lie in it. Those of us on the so called Celtic Fringe have different ideas. Thankfully our Government and our Health Professional are in agreement presently, no Junior Doctors on Strike here and I believe the same in Wales. I would obviously have preferred to be well on the road to independence by now but thanks to the NO voters we are not, they have to live with the consequences of their actions whilst forcing us to also live with it. Good Luck interesting to see Peter Hain almost talking about independent actions, but of course he has his Baronetcy now, with his £300 a day, well that is what they were all working for.

  2. Here's what Hain said in November 2014:
    “The Lords are an archaic anomaly which fuels disillusionment with British politics. It exists purely on a democratic deficit which has been allowed to evolve unchecked for centuries… the fact is that people are fed up with an out-of-touch political class and the growing sense that Westminster is failing us all.”

    Hypocrite or what?