TRADE union bosses have called on all Scottish politicians to “fight tooth and nail” against the UK Government’s anti-strike bill.

The call comes as the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill continues to make its way through the UK Parliament.

If passed, it will force trade union members to provide a minimum level of service during industrial action – and potentially sacked if they don’t comply.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) estimates that around 600,000 workers in Scotland could be affected by the legislation – which amounts to one in four of the Scottish workforce.

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The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) recently warned that the legislation could see all striking workers in affected sectors losing their unfair dismissal protection if they fail to comply with a work notice, but also if their trade union has failed to take reasonable steps to ensure compliance.

The union bodies say that the bill is a real threat to the right to strike in Scotland and across Britain.

TUC general secretary Paul Nowak said: “No one should be sacked for trying to win a better deal at work. But this draconian legislation would mean that when workers democratically vote to strike, they could be forced to work and sacked if they don’t comply. “It’s undemocratic, it’s unworkable and very likely illegal.

“UK ministers have tried to keep the public in the dark about the true nature of this bill. They are ramming it through– shortcutting normal parliamentary procedures and ducking scrutiny.

“With inflation still running at around 10%, the last thing Scottish workers need is for ministers to make it harder to secure better pay and conditions.

“It’s time for all politicians in Scotland to fight this legislation tooth and nail – and protect the fundamental right to strike.”

The National:

STUC general secretary Roz Foyer was similarly damning of the bill.

She said: “This is yet another pernicious, flagrant assault on workers’ rights in Scotland by a Tory Government seeming hellbent on undermining our right to strike.

“The sheer scale of workers impacted as revealed by the TUC is stark. This will impact workers from every corner of Scotland, in workplaces the length and breadth of the country.

“The STUC and TUC have been leading the charge in unapologetic opposition to this bill. We need every politician, from Scottish and UK Parliaments, to stand with us now more than ever.

“Workers won’t permit any further incursion on their right to strike. We will make that clear during our STUC Congress this week.”