Unite: Trade union reform campaign or the re-launch of the nasty party

The Trade Union Reform Campaign (TURC) is a vehicle for discredited Tories to pursue an ultra-right wing agenda, but it is the true face of the Tory party, warns Unite.

TURC will hold a re-launch this evening (7-9pm, Tuesday 24 January) at the House of Commons. TURC's sole aim is to attack trade union rights and undermine workers' access to justice in the workplace.

The people behind the TURC include (see notes to editors):

The campaign's chairman is none other than the disgraced MP Aidan Burley who was sacked for attending a Nazi themed stag party in France last year, he is under investigation by the French police.

Its CEO is Mark Clarke, who failed to win a seat in the 2010 general election, he has been described by senior Tories close to David Cameron, as a ‘liability’.

The third person in the TURC is Andre Walker who had to resign his post when he was caught boasting about a smear campaign.

The former defence secretary, Liam Fox, who was forced to resign in disgrace over his relationship with Adam Werrity, will sit on TURC's parliamentary council.

Also on TURC's parliamentary council is Tory MP, Dominic Raab, who in January last year hit out against feminists, branding them 'obnoxious bigots' whose actions have led to men suffering discrimination 'from the cradle to the grave'.

TURC also has close links with the Young Britons' Foundation (YBF) which is an ultra right wing group which tries to promote conservatism in schools, colleges and universities. The organisation has described the NHS as the biggest waste of money in the UK.

Priti Patel MP is a significant supporter of TURC, has produced joint research for the group and has publicy supported the use of the death penalty in the UK.

The organisation is campaigning to ban employer funded trade union representatives in the public sector and to remove government funding to help improve employees' access to learning and education and funding for improving employee relations.

Unite points to findings from the Department for Business itself which shows that the work of union representatives actually saves employers around £1.1 billion annually by helping to resolve disputes and preventing illness and injury at work.

Unite general secretary, Len McCLuskey, said:

 "The TURC is a rogues' gallery, full of discredited Tories and unpalatable right wing views. When you take off the mask of compassionate conservatism, what you get is TURC – the true face of the Tories.

"The group's sole aim is to undermine ordinary workers' access to justice and support in the workplace.

"This anti-union group even has strong links with the Young Briton's Foundation which describes the life saving NHS as a waste of money.

"There is no rational reason to target dedicated men and women who spend their days preventing accidents, avoiding tribunals and supporting their colleagues. Union representatives benefit workplaces to the tune of £1.1 billion every year. Only the ideologically-driven cannot accept that these arrangements benefit staff and employers alike."

For further information contact the Unite press office on 0203 371 2065
Notes to editors