Anti-union laws

What do the anti-union laws say?

Submitted by Matthew on 27 May, 2010 - 11:48 Author: Dave Kirk

When activists refer to the “anti-union laws”, we are talking about a whole series of acts brought in by the Thatcher and Major governments between 1980 and 1996, which the Labour government of 1997-2010 did nothing to challenge. Each new act built on its predecessors in often quite elaborate ways to restrict the ability of workers to strike and organise effectively. But what do they actually say?

Balloting

Anti-union laws: "workers must defy injunctions"

Submitted by Matthew on 27 May, 2010 - 11:32 Author: Gregor Gall, Professor of Industrial Relations at the University of Hertfordshire

What’s happening is three things. The first is that in disputes which involve large numbers of workers, the possibility of being able to apply for an injunction based on a failure in the balloting process is that much greater.

More workers involved means more complexity in meeting the legal requirements, especially where there are many different grades of worker and they work at many different workplaces.

Journalists against the anti-union laws

Submitted by Matthew on 27 May, 2010 - 10:43 Author: Will Lodge

On 19 May, journalists at Johnston Press became the latest workers to fall victim of a High Court injunction against planned strike action, on the basis of ballot discrepancies.

Bizarrely Johnston Press, which owns many titles across the UK including the Sheffield Star, managed to convince the court that it employs no journalists, and that to be lawful industrial action needs to be balloted for against each individual subsidiary company. This despite company literature proclaiming that it employs 1,900.

What About The Ballots?

Submitted by Tubeworker on Mon, 05/24/2010 - 10:52

It was good news that the court overturned the ridiculous injunction against the British Airways cabin crew strike. If the court had upheld the injunction, it would have sent a message to all employers that they can ban ANY strike with the flimsiest pretext.

There is no justice in Britain's anti-union laws. They exist for no other reason than to prevent workers from exercising our right to strike.

Network Rail and courts stop rail strike: abolish the anti-union laws! Matthew Fri, 04/16/2010 - 17:10

Network Rail bosses’ successful use of anti-trade union laws to undermine a planned strike by signallers was the latest in a recent spate of actions by employers (particularly in the rail industry) that have seen High Court injunctions become a default bosses’ response to any big strike.

The first planned strike by British Airways cabin crew workers was also declared illegal in a similar way.

Bailing Out Bosses Off The Rails Fri, 02/19/2010 - 10:08

Following a two-year fight to make it public using the Freedom of Information Act, ASLEF Executive member Dave Calfe has confirmed what many of us suspected: train operating companies can be compensated for revenue lost when we go on strike!
Back in 2006, the government allowed the Strategic Rail Authority to compensate Virgin Cross Country for its losses during an RMT campaign of strikes against cuts in Sunday pay rates. This enabled the company to dig its heels in and keep going until it won.

British Airways dispute: abolish the anti-union laws!

Submitted by Matthew on 14 January, 2010 - 10:12 Author: Daniel Randall

In early December, cabin crew working for British Airways voted — by a huge majority on a massive turnout — for strike action against job cuts and pay freezes. BA management went to court and, eventually, they got an injunction against the strike. The union has now announced a further strike ballot starting on 21 January. But it is a cumbersome process — the earliest BA workers will be able to strike is from the beginning of March!

The December injunction was yet another example of how the law can be blatantly used against workers, squashing their “right” to strike.

Support BA Cabin Crew Strike!

Submitted by Tubeworker on Wed, 12/16/2009 - 17:47

Just like us, British Airways cabin crew are transport workers facing attacks on their jobs, pay and conditions. Just like us, they work for a company that should be a public service but has been poisoned by privatisation and made into a profit-driven, cost-cutting enterprise. Just like us, their strike is being hysterically condemned in the press. Just like us, their bosses have crawled to the courts to use the anti-union laws against them.

It's a no-brainer then, isn't it? Support the BA cabin crew!

Anti-Union Laws Strike Again Tubeworker Thu, 11/26/2009 - 08:26

Last month, an unelected, unaccountable, (probably) octogenarian, public-school-educated chap in a wig ruled that RMT's ballot for industrial action on EDF Powerlink was illegal.

It was something about the precise grade title of an engineer or a technician not being exactly "engineer" or "technician". Whatever the pretext, it was not a genuine reason but an excuse. The honourable wig-wearer was appalled that the slaves were getting restless and knew that his job was to slap them back into their places.