Anti-union laws

High Court blow for unions

Submitted by AWL on 19 August, 2013 - 3:43

A High Court Judge has ruled that two of the actions in an RMT campaign of industrial action "short of a strike" at East Midlands Trains are unlawful, as they technically compromise strike action and are therefore not covered by the union's ballot for action short.

RMT balloted its East Midlands Trains members for the action in a dispute over a range of issues relating to major upgrade work at Nottingham station. As part of the action, members refused to work various turns and duties outside their agreed rosters - effectively a form of "work to rule".

"Fellow workers, comrades... we won!" Bob Carnegie charges dropped!

Submitted by AWL on 15 August, 2013 - 9:16

On Friday 16 August, contempt of court charges were dropped against Bob Carnegie, the Workers' Liberty Australia member and union activist prosecuted for assisting a construction strike in Brisbane in August-October 2012.

2,000 construction workers stopped work to attend a solidarity demonstration at the Federal Court in Brisbane, with around 100 cramming into the courtroom and erupting into applause when the judge announced the verdict.

He ruled that the terms of construction company Abigroup's injunction, aimed at keeping Bob away from the construction site, were not sufficiently clear.

Emerging from court, Bob said: "Fellow workers, comrades, case dismissed. We won."

The fight to defend Bob is not entirely over, as he still faces a civil case brought against him by Abigroup, but today's win a huge step forward and signal to bullying bosses that they cannot intimidate activists out of building solidarity with workers' struggles.

Bad precedent

Submitted by AWL on 27 May, 2013 - 11:41

The Victoria branch of the construction section of Australia's big CFMEU union has been found guilty of contempt of court after it failed to comply with “restraining orders” issued to prevent it blockading construction sites in Melbourne in August and September 2012.

The sites (the Myer Emporium site and the Footscray site) were operated by construction company Grocon. CFMEU’s grievance related to issues of health and safety on the sites.

Now bury Thatcherism

Submitted by Matthew on 16 April, 2013 - 8:54

What we hold against Margaret Thatcher is not that she was “divisive”. We, revolutionary socialists, are “divisive” too — only we want to rally the worse-off to defeat the rich, while Thatcher rallied the rich to defeat the worse-off.

In a recent opinion poll, a clear majority (60%) thought that the taxpayer should not cover the cost of Thatcher’s funeral, and an equally clear majority, 59% to 18%, thought “Thatcher was the most divisive Prime Minister this country has had that I can remember”.

Thatcher: now her politics must die

Submitted by Matthew on 10 April, 2013 - 9:22

If we believed in a hell, we would have no doubt Margaret Thatcher would now be in it.

Now we must send to hell, too, the politics which she represented.

Labour leader Ed Miliband declared that: “We greatly respect her political achievements and her personal strength”.

With a low-key comment that he “disagreed” a bit with Thatcher, he said that she had “moved the centre ground of British politics”. That, from a Labour leadership always keen to claim that it is occupying that same “centre ground”.

Mass arrests of trade unionists in Turkey

Submitted by AWL on 28 February, 2013 - 12:09

On 19 February, more than 100 trade unionists were arrested in co-ordinated raids by the authorities in 28 provinces across Turkey. The workers are members of KESK, a federation of public sector unions, and include many members of teachers' union Egitim Sen.

The arrests come in the aftermath of the suicide bomb attack on the U.S. Embassy in Ankara on 1 February, carried out by a self-styled "leftist" terrorist group. This move is a transparent attempt by the Turkish government to link legitimate, democratic trade unions with this act of terrorism.

European Court of Human Rights approves hearing on Britain's anti-strike laws

Submitted by AWL on 8 October, 2012 - 3:05

The European Court of Human Rights has given initial approval to a submission from railworkers’ union RMT which contends that Britain’s anti-union laws are unfairly restrictive.

The submission claims that the restrictions placed on the right to strike in Britain contravene Article 11 of the European Declaration of Human Rights. The British government must now respond to the submission and, if the ECHR is not satisfied by its justifications for the UK’s anti-union laws, a full hearing will be held next year.