Joint Committee On Human Rights Third Report


9. Letter from Lord Campbell of Alloway to the Chairman

PUBLIC SERVICES (DISRUPTION) BILL

Thank you for your letter of 21 January. I took the view that the Bill would be likely to be compatible as justified in the public interest.

There is no interference with the right to join a trade union; or to be represented by a trade union; or as between members of the union whose individual right to withdraw or withhold labour is preserved. There is no discrimination of treatment, save as regard members of the union who are officials at whose instigation industrial action was taken to cause such disruption, or likely to cause disruption.

The Bill only applies as a last resort to public services where there could be disruption and voluntary conciliation has been declined or failed. Only High Court Jurisdiction.

The scope of the Bill can not be enlarged as you suggest. It would have to be limited to collective action as drafted and as proposed to be amended on 18 February.

23 January 2003


 
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