European union card proposed

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Indy Politics
THE growth of 'gagging' clauses in contracts of employment was attacked as an infringement of civil liberties yesterday.

Hector Mackenzie, general secretary of Cohse, the health service union, said sweeping confidentiality clauses were 'quite breathtaking' in their implications.

He quoted a clause from the contract for St Bartholomew's NHS Trust in central London, restricted employees, during and following employment, from revealing any details of the trust's business, under the threat of disciplinary action.

Supporting calls for a positive framework of workers' rights, he said: 'This is not about the duty of health staff to maintain normal confidentialities. This clause is designed to stop any information about developments in the trust, resourced out of public money being brought before the public.'

He challenged the Government, as the guardian of individual rights, to outlaw such gagging clauses.

To celebrate the European single market and the free movement of labour, Bill Jordan, president of the European Metalworkers' Federation, proposed a common 'Euro union card', as the TUC announced it would open a representative office in Brussels.