Anti-union laws

McCluskey moves ahead, but not left

Submitted by Matthew on 8 February, 2017 - 2:20 Author: Dale Street

In the election campaigning for the post of Unite the Union’s General Secretary, the McCluskey election machine continues to deliver the goods.

With a while still to go before nominations close on 17 February, over 300 branches have nominated Len McCluskey, who has been general secretary since 2011 but has stood down early so he could run for a third term. A statement supporting McCluskey has been signed by 60 out of 64 Executive Council members and a similarly overwhelming majority on other top levels of the union.

Shrewsbury 24: how we started a campaign to defend pickets

Submitted by Matthew on 1 February, 2017 - 12:30 Author: Keith Road

Our political group has recently celebrated our 50th anniversary. We have been reflecting on some of the movements and disputes that we have played an active role in. One of these was Shrewsbury 24 campaign over the victimisation of building workers in 1972.

1972 saw a major wave of industrial action in Britain. There were more work days lost to strike action in that year than in any other since the 1926 General Strike. States of Emergency were declared during both a miners’ and a dockers’ strike.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by AWL on 12 October, 2016 - 2:26 Author: Gemma Short, Ollie Moore,Simon Nelson and Peggy Carter

Workers at the Ritzy Picturehouse cinema in Brixton struck on Friday 7 October, and will strike again on Saturday 15 October. The Ritzy cinema was completely shut down by the strike, and films due to be shown as part of the London Film Festival moved to other venues.

Still mobilised against “Labour Law”

Submitted by Matthew on 21 September, 2016 - 10:25 Author: Marianne Davin

Hello! I have recently moved to Paris, and every month I will be writing a “Letter from Paris” to keep Solidarity readers up to date about France and its far left. Hopefully this will be an interesting year in which the far left can have serious conversations about our political ideas in light of the passing of the Labour Law with essentially no vote, the upcoming presidential election, and the continuing “state of emergency”.

“We are the strength behind Corbyn’s leadership”

Submitted by Matthew on 10 August, 2016 - 12:04

Momentum activist and teacher trade unionist Laura Rogers spoke at the Jeremy Corbyn rally at Heartlands, Cornwall.

As a teacher I know something about bullying and what Jeremy Corbyn has endured would not be tolerated in any classroom. Thank you Jeremy for not being cowed because the other thing we know about bullies is that they act from a place of fear. And they are right to be afraid.

Give workers freedom to organise!

Submitted by AWL on 10 August, 2016 - 11:42 Author: Charlotte Zalens

Corbyn′s campaign has published ten pledges. In this and future issues of Solidarity, we will be critically examining these pledges. Here, Charlotte Zalens looks at the ″security at work″ pledge.

The “security at work” pledge goes further towards outlining a positive charter of workers′ rights, stating: ″We will give people stronger employment rights from day one in a job, end exploitative zero hours contracts and create new sectoral collective bargaining rights, including mandatory collective bargaining for companies with 250 or more employees.

French left attempt censure of government

Submitted by AWL on 8 July, 2016 - 7:45 Author: Olivier Delbeke

At 3.45 p.m. on Wednesday 6 July, deputies on the left wing of the National Assembly (socialists, communists, ecologists not part of the government and non-party deputies) decided to issue a motion of censure of the government.

The motion opposed the forced adoption of the labour law by means of article 49-3 [which allows the French President to turn a vote on any law into a vote of confidence in the government]; however they were only able to collect 56 out of the required 58 signatures.

Four months of struggle against the labour law

Submitted by Matthew on 29 June, 2016 - 8:41 Author: Olivier Delbeke

On Thursday 23 June, for the first time since the Gaullist state ban on the 8 February 1962 demonstration against the war in Algeria, which ended in the massacre of eight CGT activists in the Charonne Metro station, French trade unions saw their demonstration banned by the authorities.

In the face of the firm refusal by the unions (CGT, FO, FSU, Solidaires, UNEF, UNL, FIDL) to back down, the government relented, much to the disgust of the right-wing Figaro newspaper, which ran the headline “The government obeys the CGT”.

Democracy, direct action, and socialism

Submitted by Gemma_S on 24 June, 2016 - 10:53

There are decisive turning points in history that shape the future for many years ahead. The British labour movement was brought to such a turning point by the victory of the Thatcherite Tories in the 1979 general election and the events that came after it. The defeat of the labour movement then shaped the social, political, and ethical world we live in now. Was that defeat unavoidable? The revolutionary left argued then that it wasn’t: that if we mobilised our strength we could defeat Thatcher, as we had defeated her Tory predecessors in 1972-4.

French strikers defy bosses

Submitted by Matthew on 15 June, 2016 - 8:42

Lutte Ouvrière (editorial 12 June)

The government, the bosses and the media ... have used the victims of the floods as part of their grotesque moral blackmail [in a fight over France’s new labour laws]. They used Euro 2016 to demand that the strikes stop. And, in spite of everything, the SNCF [French rail] strike is carrying on, the refuse workers are sticking to their guns, and Air France pilots have carried out their threat to strike. They are right to do so.