Labour and SNP work together to fight union reforms

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Labour and the SNP in the Borders say they are willing to work together to oppose government plans to clamp down on trade unions.

Barrie Cunning, secretary of the Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire Constituency Labour Party, said that he welcomes Borders MP Calum Kerr’s opposition to the Tory proposals.

“I’m pleased to say that Borders MP Calum Kerr is of the same opinion and that he is totally opposed to it and will be fighting it in the House of Commons,” said Mr Cunning.

“I think what this shows is that the SNP and Labour can work together on certain issues as the days of tribal politics is over as we both want what’s best for the people of Scotland and for the people of the Borders.”

Mr Kerr confirmed that he is willing to work with Labour on issues where common ground can be found.

“I have had regular dialogue with Labour on this issue,” he said. “We are prepared to work together on issues that we strongly agree on. Workers rights is certainly one of them.”

Mr Cunning has started up an online petition, which has nearly 1,000 signatures, opposing the Conservative government’s bid to tighten rules on trade union strike ballots in Britain.

The plans passed their first House of Commons hurdle this week, despite fierce Labour criticism. The Bill now has to be negotiated through a lengthy stage of line-by-line scrutiny in committee.

Business secretary Sajid Javid said the bill was “not a declaration of war” against unions, but necessary to stop “endless” threats of industrial action.

But Mr Cunning said: “If this Bill becomes law it will restrict the work that trade unions do which will have a massive impact not only on trade unions, but also the members themselves.”