The Foyle MLA was speaking following the announcement of British government proposals in the Queen’s Speech.
“The British government would better serve the people by bringing forward legislation to protect workers’ rights rather than interfering in Trades Union members’ rights to withhold labour.
“What is required is legislation to strengthen workers’ rights to engage in collective bargaining to ensure compliance with European Court of Human Rights judgments.
“The court ruled that the accepted right to join trades unions includes the right to collective bargaining.
“Vulnerable workers now more than ever need their rights to collective bargaining enshrined in law and protected.
“This right-wing Tory government, which is hell-bent on further draconian cuts to public services and the welfare state, is now intent on attacking the protections provided to workers with its so-called Trades Union reform.
“If this Tory government succeeds I have no doubt it will result in exploitative employers demanding more zero-hour contracts, lower pay, poorer working conditions, and lowering of health and safety provision.
“This proposed legislation should act as a wake-up call to the Trades Union movement to stand with those of us who are fighting the Tory attacks on everything from the Welfare State, the Health Service etc and now the Trades Union Movement.
“It is time for the political parties, trades unions and civic society to stand together against the failed policies of austerity.”