Corbyn strikes chord with Trade Union Bill protesters

At the No More War event at Parliament Square in August. (Photo: Garry Knight)

Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, appeared in Cardiff on Saturday following a march that took place in the city centre.

The march, which was made up of around 400 people, was a protest against the introduction of a new Trade Union Bill by the current Tory government. The new bill would reform the ways in which trade unions can organise and execute strikes.

Changes to the current legislation will include the introduction of a minimum percentage of backers needed for a strike to go ahead. At least 50 per cent of trade union members must vote on ballots for industrial action to go ahead, while 40 per cent must do so for action regarding core public services, such as Health, Education and Transport & Fire Services, to occur.

There was previously no minimum amount of participation needed among trade unionists for industrial action to go ahead. Instead, only a majority of those taking part in a ballot had to vote in favour of action for a strike to go ahead.

Mr Corbyn made a speech by the National Museum after the march had finished, declaring his support for trade unions.

He said: “6 million workers in Great Britain are paid less than the living wage. What’s the Tory response to this? Weaken our trade unions, take away the most effective method of standing up for better pay and conditions”.

He also advocated the positive effect that trade unions have on the working environment: “All the evidence is very clear, where trade unions are well organised, there’s better pay, safer working conditions, better management, and higher levels of productivity among all those companies”.

Wales’ First Minister Carwyn Jones has also condemned the new Trade Union Bill, and Welsh ministers have demanded that some clauses be removed from the bill.

Reported by the BBC, Carwyn Jones was quoted as saying: “If it comes to the point where that bill is passed, and its provisions are applied to devolved public services, we will seek to introduce a bill in this chamber to overturn the sections of the bill that impact on devolved areas”.

He added: “It’s a matter for the UK government if they then want to go to the Supreme Court in order to frustrate the will of this democratically elected assembly”.