Anti-union laws

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 18 February, 2016 - 12:37 Author: Gemma Short, Peggy Carter and Ollie Moore

On Wednesday 24 February, workers in Further Education (FE) colleges in England will strike over pay.

University and College Union (UCU) members struck in November but this time they will be joined by workers who are organised by Unison. The dispute is in response to the imposition of a pay freeze by the employer organisation, the Association of Colleges. Imposing a pay award without union agreement is an unprecedented action by the employers, but to be expected given the confidence of the employers. Why are they confident?

When printworkers took on Rupert Murdoch

Submitted by AWL on 27 January, 2016 - 11:12 Author: Cathy Nugent

In 1986, Rupert Murdoch, working closely with the Thatcher government, set out to smash the print unions. Knowing how Murdoch did that is essential to understanding how he became a feared and feted establishment figure.

Murdoch began his domination of media business in the UK with the acquisition of the News of the World in 1968, followed by the Sun (1969), then the Times and Sunday Times (1981). Soon after acquiring the Times/Sunday Times, Murdoch pushed through major staffing cuts and a wage freeze.

Keep up the fight against Trade Union Bill!

Submitted by Matthew on 11 November, 2015 - 1:04

The Trade Union Bill was getting a third reading in the House of Commons as Solidarity went to press on 10 November.

Campaigners with Right to Strike took a 17 metre long banner reading ″Don′t shackle our unions″ to hold in front of Parliament and leafleted the public. The Trade Union Coordinating Group organised a protest in Parliament Square, also supported by Right to Strike.

Fight for the Right to Strike!

Submitted by Matthew on 4 November, 2015 - 10:45

On Monday 2 November, thousands of trade unionists joined the TUC lobby against the Trade Union Bill. Large delegations from the FBU, CWU and some lively Unison branches kept the mood up with chanting and music when not everyone could fit in the hall. In the evening a protest organised by the Trade Union Coordinating Group, and supported by Right to Strike, Unite the Resistance and the National Shop Stewards Network, gathered over 200 activists in Parliament square. The Trade Union Bill will have its third reading in the Commons on Tuesday 10 November before going to the House of Lords.

Defend our unions against Tories and the SNP!

Submitted by Matthew on 4 November, 2015 - 10:42 Author: Ann Field

Unsurprisingly the recent Scottish Labour Party conference voted unanimously to oppose the Tories’ Trade Union Bill. But the motion, from Unison and three Glasgow Constituency Labour Parties, had its weaknesses, saying, for instance that trade unions are “good for business”. But if unions are good for business, why do so many employers derecognise them?

SNP fights Trade Union Bill?

Submitted by cathy n on 26 October, 2015 - 4:48 Author: Dale Street

The SNP will be moving an amendment to the Tories’ Trade Union Bill that the Bill does not apply to Scotland.

Of course, the amendment will be defeated. The SNP knows that. In fact, the SNP tabled the amendment at the second reading of the Bill but did not even bother pushing it to a vote.

And these are the people who used to denounce Scotland’s then 50 Labour MPs as “the feeble fifty”!

Some ‘constitutional experts’ now argue that, having already tabled the amendment but not pushed it to a vote, the amendment cannot be tabled a second time.

McCluskey “bargains” on Trade Union Bill

Submitted by Matthew on 7 October, 2015 - 10:57 Author: Gemma Short

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey has offered the government a deal on the Trade Union Bill.

On 1 October he sent David Cameron a letter offering to accept the 40% and 50% ballot thresholds in return for the introduction of electronic ballots.

It is not wrong to seek an alternative to postal balloting, which has been imposed on unions. Postal ballots ensure members vote in isolation in their home; they are plagued with problems such as members moving house or just forgetting to post their ballot paper.

Labour Party conference votes to restore right to take solidarity strike action

Submitted by AWL on 29 September, 2015 - 10:10

On Monday 28 September delegates at Labour Party conference voted unanimously for a motion committing the party to fight the Tories' Trade Union Bill and the next Labour government to "legislate for strong rights to unionise, win recognition and collective bargaining, strike, picket and take solidarity action."