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    UNIONS CONDEMN NEW APPOINTMENT TO HSE BOARD

    TUC accuses government of blatant abuse over fair balance rules

    The TUC has condemned the government’s appointment of a former employer and business leader to a seat on the board of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that is reserved for a representative of workers’ interests.

    The appointment concerns Susan Johnson the former Chief Executive of the Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service who is also the former Chief Executive of Northern Business Forum, and a former director of the food company Greggs.

    The TUC is concerned that the move is to “silence the voices of working people on health and safety at work” and that many of the joint industry groups that gave advice to the HSE have been disbanded.

    The right of trade unions to nominate members to the board of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority was recently abolished.

    Dangerous signal to “bad bosses”

    TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

    “The government cannot appoint an employer to represent workers. It’s a blatant abuse of rules that are there to ensure a fair balance between workers and bosses.

    The HSE works best when employers and unions work together as equal partners, as intended by the Health and Safety at Work Act. By rejecting the consensus approach, the government is sending out a dangerous signal to bad bosses who put staff at risk by cutting corners.

    Along with the Trade Union Act, it’s a further attack on the ability of trade unions to protect the health and safety of working people.

    Despite this, trade unions will continue to work for the welfare and safety of their members. The best way for people to stay safe and well at work is to join a trade union so that there is a trained health and safety representative on hand when you need it.”

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