The latest anti-union laws mean that Tube strikes will need, proportionally, a bigger vote than is necessary to form a government in a general election.
These new anti-worker laws require that: “All ballots for industrial action must have a turnout of at least 50% of members ... A simple majority must be in support of industrial action before it can go ahead. In addition, ballots for industrial action where the members work in providing important public services must also have the support of at least 40% of those members.”
The only way to beat these laws is for union members to be proactive, get involved and vote yes. Whereas in the past people supported their union but thought, “I don’t need to vote as it will be a yes anyway,” we now need to recognise that a mere yes isn’t enough. We need to ensure we reach the Tories' thresholds, which means everybody must vote.
The union’s need to be more proactive too in raising everybody's consciousness about the importance of voting in ballots. We have seen some good work from activists, but union head offices need to back it. Let’s start the conversation about these anti-union laws now and ensure we can beat them, and not after a ballot fails because of them.
We should also look for ways to defy the laws. Far be it from Tubeworker to explicitly advocate breaking the law, let's just say that, for example, their draconian stipulations about how picket lines should be organised should be tested to their absolute limit.
The bigger solution is to fight for a workers' government - a government made up of people from our movement and our class, which will govern in the interests of our class just as the current government governs in the interests of the rich - so that all these anti-union laws are thrown out and we can be a part of deciding our own destinies and shape what we want our society to be, rather than the bosses doing it.