URGENT ACTION REQUEST: HELP SAFEGUARD PRIVACY OF UNION MEMBERSHIP
Please take this online campaign action to stop the state snooping union membership records
You may have heard of this government’s Lobbying Bill. It has united unions, charities and campaign groups across the spectrum in resisting its threat to free speech during election campaigns.
This week the government announced a pause in the Bill, thanks to the pressure of campaigners.
But there’s a catch. Ministers have only paused the bit that deals with election campaigning. They have filled the gap by bringing forward part three of the Bill which threatens the confidentiality of union membership records.
It requires unions to appoint assessors of their membership and opens up complaints about union membership systems to third parties.
At a time when we have learnt the full extent of blacklisting, unions are worried about opening up confidential membership data at both national and branch level:
- The Certification Officer (CO) – a state appointee – will be given new rights to investigate membership.
- Unions have to appoint an assurer from a state approved list.
- Investigators appointed after a complaint by the (CO) will have access to union membership records – including at local level.
There are only a few days before the House of Lords considers the Committee stage of Part 3.
The TUC has launched an urgent campaign to allow union members and anyone concerned about data privacy to adopt a Peer and email them personal appeal to protect union member privacy.
As a union rep you are well placed to explain to a Peer why your members value their privacy and why there is no need for this when unions already have every interest in keeping up to date records.
Note: There’s more information on the issue in this TUC blog post: Stop the Lobbying Bill’s union membership data grab!