UK

BBC Daily Politics: Mick Cash Insists He 'Isn't Going To Be Lectured By Millionaires' Over Trade Union Bill

10/11/2015 14:18 GMT | Updated 10/11/2015 14:59 GMT

Any TV debate that faces off Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi against secretary of the RMT workers union, Mick Cash, promises fireworks, and today's encounter on the BBC's Daily Politics didn't disappoint.

An argument flared after Zahawi ranted about the impact of the much disputed Trade Union Bill on regular workers.

"I tell you who it hurts. It's part time workers, it’s shift workers, it’s people on lower pay, who will lose a whole days work if Mick and his union strike.

"I think this is about fairness, it’s about actually getting the trade unions to work well and fairly rather than calling strikes, randomly and hurting those on low pay, those who will lose a whole days work," Zahawi said.

To which Cash hit back: "Definitely [there's a fairness issue] but I’m not going to take a lecture from a millionaire about what workers should and shouldn’t be doing and how they suffer from this," he said.

Zahwi interjected: "I’ve worked for every penny Mick."

Cash resumed: "Well that’s fine, but I’m not going to take a lecture from you as a millionaire about ordinary working people."

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Earlier in the programme presenter Jo Coburn asked Cash if he would be prepared to break the law if the measures go through, to which he replied:

"Well I wouldn’t rule nothing out, I wouldn’t rule nothing in. I mean at the end of the day in this situation working people are seeking to defend their jobs, their security, their safety, their pensions, and are going to become increasingly angry about what the government is trying to do which is restrict their right - their fundamental right to strike."

The Bill, which is due to have its third reading in the Commons on Tuesday, introduces a threshold for strike ballots, would allow agency staff to be recruited to cover for strikers, and includes changes to the way union subscriptions are collected.

The measures would see the introduction of a 50 per cent turn out threshold for industrial action ballots, making unions giving 14 days notice of any action, instead of the current seven.