Anti-union laws

Politics is empowering

Kelly Rogers is one of the four sacked union reps at the Ritzy cinema in Brixton. She is also a supporter of Workers’ Liberty. She spoke to us about the Picturehouse workers’ long-running dispute.

Kelly Rogers, a Picturehouse cinema worker, talks to Solidarity.

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Fighting for workers’ rights

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Bob Carnegie and Martin Thomas

Below is an article from Workers’ Liberty Australia, jointly written by Bob and Martin Thomas, setting out ideas at the beginning of the battle against WorkChoices, in 2005.

In 2005, John Howard set out plans to bring in anti-union legislation more drastic than former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher ever attempted in one instalment, and arguably more drastic than the sum total of the whole long series of laws introduced by Thatcher’s government through the 1980s.

An jointly written by Bob and Martin Thomas setting out ideas at the beginning of the battle against WorkChoices, in 2005.

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The importance of democracy

Author: 

Bob Carnegie

Bob wrote about the dispute at the Queensland Children’s Hospital construction site in 2012. The hospital is now named the Lady Cilento Hospital.

An article Bob wrote about the dispute at the Queensland Children’s Hospital construction site in 2012.

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Defend the Picturehouse Four!

Author: 

Ollie Moore

Cinema workers at five London branches of the Picturehouse chain struck again on Friday 7 July, as their battle for living wages, union recognition, and other benefits continues. Picturehouse bosses have raised the stakes of the dispute by sacking four Bectu union reps from the Ritzy cinema in Brixton, the site where the dispute began. Three of those reps have had their appeals rejected, with a fourth waiting on an appeal outcome. All intend to pursue their cases at Employment Tribunal.

Support sacked trade union reps at Picturehouse cinemas.

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Call for DWP-wide ballot

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A PCS member

On 7 July, the Department for Work and Pensions announced a list of 74 Jobcentre and 28 back of house office closures. The PCS DWP GEC has called an emergency meeting Friday 14 July.

Earlier this year, the DWP issued proposals to close Jobcentres and offices and said some sites would be considered for co-location with local authority offices. Although the PCS union Group Executive Committee issued a campaign plan and opposed the proposals, it was left to individual offices and branches to make submissions to the National Executive for industrial action.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore and Gemma Short

As Solidarity goes to press, the annual general meeting of the National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport workers (RMT) is debating a series of motions at its annual general meeting on its relationship with the Labour Party. The RMT, whose predecessor union helped found Labour, effectively had its affiliation cancelled by the New Labour leadership in 2004, after the RMT leadership refused to censure Scottish branches which wanted to back candidates of the Scottish Socialist Party, then an active and growing force.

Will the RMT reaffiliate to Labour?; RMT votes against free movement; defend the Picturehouse four!; Lewisham council shames Labour; outsourcing round-up; Unison conference wakes up.

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Industrial news in brief

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Ollie Moore, Charlotte Zalens, Peggy Carter and Gemma Short

On 16 June over 100 people attended a short-notice demonstration called at Brixton’s Ritzy cinema, in protest at the sacking of three trade union reps. Three reps for the Bectu union at the Ritzy were sacked for failing to report to management the contents of an email sent from a Bectu branch email address to members’ private emails, which mentioned actions that community supporters of cinema workers’ strikes planned to undertake. One other rep remains suspended and awaiting disciplinary.

Defend sacked cinema reps; Tube workers held back by the anti-union laws; fight at Forest Hill School continues; BA blacklisting workers; UoL security guards strike; Southern overtime ban; Unite sacks Coyne.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short and Peggy Carter

Cleaners at the London School of Economics are celebrating a victory. They will be brought in-house and become employees of LSE from Spring 2018.

Victory for cleaners’ strike; beating the anti-union laws on the Tube; cabin crew strike again; Manchester Met strikes.

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Youth vote can beat Tories

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Editorial

“If 38% of voters genuinely go for pro-IRA anti-nuclear pro-mass-nationalisation Corbyn, UK voters are no longer mature enough for democracy.”

The Twitter comment from Andrew Lilico of the right-wing Institute of Economic Affairs sums up how a section of the British ruling class views even the outside chance of a Corbyn victory on 8 June.

Policies in the Labour manifesto have brought Labour denunciation or derision from the wealthy and their ideologues, and a big lead over the Tories among younger voters. The outcome on 8 June depends on how many of those younger voters get to the polls.

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Beat the New Anti-Union Law!

RMT's ballot in defence of the London Bridge 3 is our first taste of organising industrial action since the Tories' new anti-union law - the Trade Union Act - came into effect in March. The law means voter turnout must be over 50%. In 'important public services', such as the Tube, there is an additional requirement that over 40% of the people balloted must have voted 'yes' in order for our ballot result to be 'legal'. So we need a 'yes' vote that is strong enough to meet - and beat - these new thresholds. Vote yes!

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