Anti-union laws

What About The Ballots?

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.

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Network Rail and courts stop rail strike: abolish the anti-union laws!

Author: 

Darren Bedford

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.

The recent turn by bosses towards exploiting the full potential of the anti-union laws introduced by Tories and preserved through thirteen years of Labour government is a sign of a ruling-class aggressively re-asserting its right to rule unchallenged.

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Bosses use courts to undermine strikes... AGAIN

Author: 

Ira Berkovic

After pulling a similar stunt with the British Airways dispute, bosses (this time, Network Rail) on 1 April successfully sought a High Court injunction to prevent a democratically-mandated strike action from taking place.

Rail industry bosses have successfully sought a High Court injunction to stop the Network Rail strike planned to start on 7 April.

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Bailing Out Bosses

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.

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!

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British Airways dispute: abolish the anti-union laws!

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.

The injunction granted by a High Court judge in December against cabin crew working for British Airways who had voted — by a huge majority on a massive turnout — for strike action against job cuts and pay freezes is yet another example of how the anti-union laws can be blatantly used against workers, squashing their “right” to strike.

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Support BA Cabin Crew Strike!

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!

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Tories talk of strike ban

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

If they win the election, the Tories want to privatise the whole of Royal Mail. They also want to change the law to ban many of even those strikes still legal under the current anti-union laws.

According to the Guardian (30 October): “The Tories are looking at introducing laws setting new minimum turnout thresholds for strike ballots on the basis that they can only be lawful disputes if a majority of those being called out on strike have voted for it in a ballot”.

If they win the election, the Tories want to change the law to ban many of even those strikes still legal under the current anti-union laws.

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Redmond O'Neill, Socialist Action and "respect for the dead"

O'Neill

Author: 

Sacha Ismail
Redmond O'Neill of the Socialist Action group has died aged 55. How should we assess the politics he represented?

Redmond O’Neill, a leader of the Socialist Action group, has died aged 55 of cancer. Because O’Neill was an official in Ken Livingstone’s London mayoral administration, his death has received wide attention, for instance in the Guardian.

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Support Ark Tribe!

Ark Tribe

Author: 

Martin Thomas
"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty..."

Ark Tribe, a building worker in South Australia, faces six months' jail for refusing to meet a special police force set up for the construction industry and give investigators names of other union members involved in getting up a petition on his site about health and safety concerns.





Hundreds of trade unionists demonstrated when Tribe was last brought to court on 9 June. The hearing was then adjourned to 11 August, and there are likely to be further legal stages after that.

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Tubeworker 9/4/09: Huge Yes Vote - But Anti-Union Laws Stop Strikes

The new issue of Tubeworker reports on the massive vote by RMT members for industrial action over jobs, pay and bullying, but also the fact that the union is re-balloting because of legal threats from LUL. It argues that the union should have consulted members before the decision to re-ballot, and that workers must now prepare to take unofficial action in the event of further legal moves.

Tubeworker also reports on the forthcoming Victoria line drivers' strike, plus various workplace issues.

The new issue of Tubeworker reports on the massive vote by RMT members for industrial action over jobs, pay and bullying, and discusses the legal threats from LUL.

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Brown fights the EU to block workers' rights

Author: 

Colin Foster

A bit of Keynesian economics means that New Labour is no longer "New" Labour? Not so. On 12 December Gordon Brown was in Brussels... fighting to make sure that the European Union can't increase workers' rights in Britain.

In Brown's view, agreements on common standards made by the EU - that is, right now, by right-wing governments such as those of Sarkozy in France, Merkel in Germany, and Berlusconi in Italy - might threaten New Labour's "pro-business" course by giving workers too many legal rights.

A bit of Keynesian economics means that New Labour is no longer "New" Labour? Not so. On 12 December Gordon Brown was in Brussels... fighting to make sure that the European Union can't increase workers' rights in Britain.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Workers' Liberty Australia, no.40

Author: 

AWL Aus

By Riki Lane
Noel Washington, Senior Vice-President in Victoria of the Construction, Forestry, Mining, and Energy Union (CFMEU) faces
six months prison for refusing to talk to industrial police about what happened at a union meeting outside work hours.

For the rest, download the pdf: see "attachment" below.

Workers' Liberty Australia no.39, September 2008. "Support Noel Washington, abolish the ABCC".

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Workers plan walk-outs against anti-union law

Author: 

Riki Lane

Noel Washington, Senior Vice-President in Victoria of Australia’s big Construction, Forestry, Mining, and Energy Union (CFMEU) faces six months prison for refusing to talk to industrial police about what happened at a union meeting outside work hours.

Noel Washington, Senior Vice-President in Victoria of Australia’s big Construction, Forestry, Mining, and Energy Union (CFMEU) faces six months prison for refusing to talk to industrial police about what happened at a union meeting outside work hours.

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Now Is the Time To Fight the Anti-Union Laws!

Author: 

Editorial

Rising inflation and the government policy of wage cutting by keeping wage increases below inflation, is reviving active, militant trade unionism.

Workers are being faced with the choice to either fight or docilely let their living standards be forced down by a government whose pandering to the rich was a already, even before it adopted a policy of “fighting inflation” by cutting the real wages of low paid workers, a scandal and an obscenity.

Rising inflation and the government policy of wage cutting by keeping wage increases below inflation, is reviving active, militant trade unionism.

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Prison officer strike ban

In response to the impact of August 2007’s 12-hour strike, Justice Secretary Jack Straw announced plans for a strike-ban for prison officers on January 8. Tabled as an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill, the measure will be discussed in Parliament as Solidarity goes to press.

In response to the impact of August 2007’s 12-hour strike, Justice Secretary Jack Straw announced plans for a strike-ban for prison officers on January 8.

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Defend Karen Reissmann

Author: 

Bruce Robinson

The strike to get sacked UNISON steward Karen Reissmann reinstated is continuing. Karen was sacked for speaking out against cuts. A massive show of support on the demonstration in Manchester on 24 November will show the employers and government that we are not prepared to let trade unionists be gagged or disciplined for carrying out the job of representing their members.

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France: No divide and rule; Defend the right to strike

Author: 

Introduction and translation by Joan Trevor

French president Nicolas Sarkozy has hit the ground running, hoping to capitalise on the apparent mood for change that saw him elected in May. He will need momentum to push through the changes that will make France more like Thatcherite Britain; that is, to bulldoze the working-class opposition that thwarted his predecessors.

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France: The right to strike is not negotiable!

Author: 

Joan Trevor

The text below is a translation of an appeal against French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s plans to attack French workers’ right to strike.
It is addressed mainly to the trade union federations urging them to fight, and to fight together. The signatories see attacks on French workers’ rights to organise as Sarkozy’s preparation for an all-out assault on workers’ social conditions.
To read the appeal in French and to sign it visit http://droitdegreve.wordpress.com/
Introduction and translation by Joan Trevor, Sept 2007

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Australia's secret industrial inquisition exposed

A new film exposes the special police force for the construction industry set up in October 2005 by the conservative Australian government as part of its recent slew of anti-union laws.

Joe Loh's "Constructing Fear" comprehensively indicts the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

The ABCC can haul any building worker before it. Workers have no right to silence. If they refuse to give evidence they can be jailed for six months.

It is illegal for them to tell anyone - even family members - about the questions they are asked in ABCC interrogations.

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