SCOTTISH Labour MSPs have been challenged to put workers before their “right-wing London bosses” and support a motion backing the devolution of employment law.

On Tuesday, SNP depute leader Keith Brown is set to lead a members’ businesses debate in Holyrood supporting calls from a number of trade unions on power over workers’ rights being devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

It was revealed last week that Scottish Labour MSPs were told not to back the motion, despite it being party policy for employment law to be devolved.

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The TUC, STUC and Unite are among the organisations who have called for the move, including at the TUC’s annual congress earlier this year.

Brown has challenged Scottish Labour MSPs to “resist orders” from party leadership and speak in favour of the motion on Tuesday night.

It comes amid numerous attacks in Westminster on workers' rights, including the anti-strike bill, which will enforce minimum service levels in certain industries and disrupt unions’ ability to take industrial action.

The draconian law has been condemned internationally, and fears have been raised that it may put the UK in breach of human rights rules.

UK Labour have been criticised for ditching a key pledge to ban all zero-hour contracts, just a week after deputy leader Angela Rayner (below) gave a “cast iron guarantee” that the party would bring in a new bill to ban the contracts within 100 days if they win the General Election.

The National: Shadow Education secretary Angela Rayner (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Rayner also ruled out the devolution of employment law during a visit to Glasgow last month.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Brown said: “Workers and trade unions are not only being let down by Westminster but they are under increasing attack, and it’s clear the only way to protect them is by devolving employment law to the Scottish Parliament.

“The devolution of workers’ rights is backed by some of the biggest trades unions in the country, including the STUC, TUC and Unite, and it’s even Labour’s own policy - it is astonishing that not one Labour MSP has agreed with a motion that calls out Westminster’s anti-trade union legislation and is in support of workers rights.

“To refuse to support these calls and choose to put their right wing London bosses before the workers and trade unions of Scotland is beyond belief.

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“People need politicians to have the courage of their convictions so I am urging Labour MSPs to resist orders from their Tory-tribute act party leadership and do right by workers and trade unions.

“Workers deserve to see the back of Westminster’s anti-workers agenda, and it’s clear that only by giving Scotland the powers over employment law can we entrench workers’ rights in law and build a fairer society for everyone."

Scottish Labour said that as Brown's motion is members' business there would not be a vote and that they had added their own amendment to the motion which focuses on the party's A New Deal for Working People over the devolution of employment law. 

Daniel Johnson, Scottish Labour's economy spokesperson said “This is jaw-dropping hypocrisy from Keith Brown who spent his weekend peddling Tory anti-trade union rhetoric to distract from his party’s botched council pay negotiations.

“The SNP want to confect a constitutional row to distract from their own shoddy record on workers’ rights, including their use of exploitative zero-hour contracts in Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

“Labour is ready to deliver transformative change for workers right across the UK with our New Deal for Working People – banning exploitative zero-hour contracts, ending fire and rehire, extending sick pay and making the minimum wage enough to live off.

“At every level of government, Labour will use the powers it has to strengthen workers’ rights, improve conditions and make work pay.”