To: Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

Let us vote! Allow unions to ballot members online

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We've handed the petition in at BIS today, ahead of the trade union bill committee's debate on online and workplace balloting. Big thanks to everyone who signed - We're staying on this issue and will be back with more actions as the story develops! Read more at http://goingtowork.org.uk/20000-call-for-change-in-union-ballots

Let us vote! Allow unions to ballot members online

Allow unions to conduct statutory ballots by secure online voting or supervised workplace digital ballots.

Why is this important?

The Government believe that too many strike ballots are being won on too low a voter turn out, calling their legitimacy into question. They've proposed a Trade Union Bill to tackle this, which would set a minimum threshold of 50% casting a vote for the ballot to be deemed legitimate.

We reckon this is like using a sledgehammer to fix a sink. It's an extreme response to a problem that could and should be tackled with different tools.

Ballot turnouts are sometimes low because unions have a specially restrictive set of rules on how the votes can be run. They can't use secure online balloting for example. They need to send every member a form in the post, which many don't notice amongst the junk mail or reply to in time if they can't do it there and then.

Whilst former BIS Secretary of State Vince Cable approved of online balloting for unions, Sajid Javid and his colleagues in the Government have told us it's not secure enough to be guaranteed.

This smells to us like a red herring. Online voting is good enough for choosing the current Conservative candidate for London Mayor, so it seems like one rule for them and one for everyone else. Blue chip companies use online voting too to let shareholders vote in corporate ballots.

Allowing members to use phones and computers to engage rather than the post would raise turnouts, giving more members a clear say in the union and any future strike ballots.

The votes would be organised by independent scrutineers (who already use these systems for other clients) rather than by unions themselves. It won't even take much Government time to permit it.

That's got to be better than bringing in artificial thresholds that only apply to union elections, not any other type of statutory ballots.

It's hard to see why Sajid Javid objects to something that would fix his problem another way. Unless of course he doesn't really care about the Trade Union Bill's stated objectives, and is merely looking to tie unions up in new red tape to stop members being able to stand up for themselves if their employers act unfairly.

So please support our campaign for a 21st century way of running union ballots - rather than a return to 1980s union bashing.

And in the meantime, if Sajid Javid ever offers to fix your sink, don't let him.


Reasons for signing

  • I believe this is massive attack on Trades Union member's human rights putting barriers in the way of their legitimate right, in this democracy, to protect their pay and conditions. This tawdry government didn't get even close to 50% of the electorate yet act as if they have been given 100% to run roughshod over anyone who has a different point of view.
  • Stop for a moment and ask yourself why it was that Hitler was so keen to do away with trades unionists.Who by the way,were some of the first inmates of the concentration camps. This isn't just about Unions, it's all about a government that wants to control every aspect of your life. Don't think that if you just carry on and keep your head down, all will be well. It won't. They're coming for you too !! As someone once said,'Those that ignore history are destined to re live it.
  • Many have worked all their lives to get rich business owners to accept there is a difference between good profit and pure greed, unions remind us of when these basic facts of good management are being deliberately destroyed by business owners in their attempt to increase profit by reducing workers wages

Updates

2015-10-22 11:45:09 +0100

We've handed the petition in at BIS today, ahead of the trade union bill committee's debate on online and workplace balloting. Big thanks to everyone who signed - We're staying on this issue and will be back with more actions as the story develops! Read more at http://goingtowork.org.uk/20000-call-for-change-in-union-ballots

2015-10-20 06:48:15 +0100

20,000 signatures reached

2015-10-13 22:11:55 +0100

More and more people signing now, and the government have noticed. Social media monitoring staff from BIS have picked up on 300 RTs for the petition last week http://ow.ly/TmzyJ

If they're concerned about 300, let's see what they think about 500 or a thousand! Can you share this petition right now on social media?

Every Facebook share or Tweet about it helps us pile on the pressure for a fairer way to improve union balloting. Thanks for all your support!!

2015-10-07 11:06:04 +0100

Anyone watching Conservative Party Conference this week will have noticed something of an inconsistency. The Prime Minister repeated on Sunday that online voting was too insecure to consider for trade unions to use. But then on Tuesday, the party appointed their London Mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith, following a ballot held completely online. They can't have it both ways - If it's secure enough for the Conservatives to use, we think it's secure enough for unions too. Read more on this here:
http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2015/10/zac-goldsmiths-mayoral-nomination-at-cpc15-exposes-the-hypocrisy-in-the-trade-union-bill/

2015-10-04 17:11:01 +0100

10,000 signatures reached