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Scottish First Minister promises to fight anti-strike laws

Scottish Government Scotland

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Speaking at the Scottish TUC Congress in Dundee, Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf has pledged that his government will not issue work notices under the Westminster Government’s proposed new anti-union laws.

The Minimum Service Levels Bill, which is due to be debated again in the House of Lords next week, could force workers in six sectors – Health, Fire, Transport, Education, Border Security, and Nuclear Decommissioning – to work on strike days despite having a democratic mandate to strike.

Mr. Yousaf stated, “Be in no doubt, the Scottish Government will never issue or enforce a single work notice, we will continue to do everything we can to oppose this disgraceful legislation.”

FBU responds to First Minister

FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack said: “The Minimum Service Levels Bill is a vicious, authoritarian attack on the rights of workers. It is being pushed through by the Conservatives at Westminster for one purpose – to drive down wages. 

“This is a welcome and significant intervention by the First Minister. By refusing to implement this draconian new legislation, he can strike a blow against Rishi Sunak’s anti-worker agenda. 

“Humza Yousaf’s promise must be honoured – but it must apply to every single public sector employer in Scotland. They should state clearly that they will not apply work orders in Scotland, nor should any employer relying on contracts with the Scottish government.

“The Fire Brigades Union will continue to explore how we can fight this draconian legislation with every means available to us – including mass mobilisation and non-compliance. 

“This development clearly demonstrates that the trade union movement can build resistance to the anti-union laws on many different fronts – not just in the Westminster parliament or the courts.”

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