CWU General Secretary says Miliband’s plans are “about dog whistles”

Billy Hayes, General Secretary of the CWU, has been the first General Secretary of an affiliated Trade Union to speak out on Ed Miliband’s plans for “opt-in” rather than “opt-out” for affiliated trade unionists. He told the Today Programme:

“It’s a very old-fashioned idea. It was introduced in 1927 by Stanley Bladwin in the trade disputes act, so we’ve had it before. And it was the 1945-51 Labour government that repealed that aspect about having to opt in. So it’s not a new idea, it’s a very old idea and it was introduced to weaken the trade unions’ link with Labour, so I don’t think it’s good idea, people have the right to opt out if they want to.

“This is all about dog whistles. It’s about signalling to people there’s a problem with the relationship with the trade unions. I don’t think there is.

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