Anti-union laws

Support firefighters' Green New Deal motion to Labour conference

The Labour Party’s Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC) has sparked outrage by ruling out of order the “Green Jobs Revolution” motion promoted for Labour conference by the Labour for a Green New Deal (LGND) campaign and submitted by at least 21 Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs). They have ruled out 45 submissions in all, including one called "Build Back Fairer" about the pandemic and reconstruction, submitted by Newark and Newcastle East CLPs and promoted by Momentum Internationalists. It advocates taxing the rich to attack inequality and reconstruct society. LGND and others are protesting...

Trade unions break silence over the Police Bill. Will they mobilise?

Back in the weeks after the murder of Sarah Everard by Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens, militant protests against the government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill swept the Labour Party into voting against the Tories’ plans in Parliament, which Keir Starmer’s leadership had not intended to do. They also swept trade unions into making public statements and so on against the Bill. However, only a scattering of small unions (IWGB and UVW) and individual union branches made any real effort to mobilise on the streets. Quickly even the statements from trade unions dried up and...

After Sharon Graham's election, some immediate ideas to change Unite

Scrap all Regional Secretary posts. Overhaul the Legal Department. End meddling in lay-member democracy by full-timers. Reformat meetings of constitutional committees. Campaign for union policy on scrapping anti-union laws. Review support for the Morning Star. These are the proposals which a motion passed by my Unite branch earlier this month called on the higher levels of the union’s constitutional committees to give consideration to. The motion was passed in the context of, and on the basis of, Sharon Graham’s election as Unite General Secretary. Graham stood on a platform of change, a focus...

Anti-union laws hit another ballot

RMT's ballot of fleet workers in depots where LU proposes to impose Automatic Train Control (ATC) for trains going into siding returned a 79% majority for strikes, and an 82% majority for action short of strikes. But as the turnout was just 42%, official (i.e., legal) industrial action can't be...

Right to protest, right to strike

The campaign to stop the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is relaunching on 29 May with a fourth national Kill the Bill day of action: information here. Labour movement activists should get out on the streets with trade union, Labour Party and campaign delegations and banners. Socialists need to push harder in the labour movement, both trade unions and Labour Party, to mobilise it in support of the struggle against the Police Bill. We need to widen discussion, in the labour movement and among Kill the Bill activists, about the right to protest. If the Police Bill passes, it will...

Police Bill: organise for a long haul

Thousands turned out in London on May Day to oppose the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, and there were demonstrations all over the country. Workers’ Liberty supporters were there in London and many other places, selling Solidarity and other literature, arguing for a push to bring the labour movement into the Police Bill fight, and to overturn the anti-union laws and other earlier restrictions on the right protest. The London protest was a welcome change from the usual London May Day, which tends to be smaller, older, and with banners of Stalin and the like, which were completely...

Scrap the Thatcher anti-union laws! No shortcuts!

On 1 May a “May Day manifesto” by John Hendy and Keith Ewing was published in the Morning Star, under the headline “A New Deal for Workers”. A New Deal for Workers is a slogan that has been used by the TUC and various unions, particularly the CWU [Communication Workers' Union]; this is a new attempt to flesh it out. There is much in the document worth comment and discussion. On the crucial issue of the right to strike and repealing the anti-trade union laws, it is weak. Hendy and Ewing are leading lights in the Institute of Employment Rights (IER). In recent years the IER has focused heavily...

Anti-Protest Law is Bad News for Rail Workers

The Conservative Government is pushing through a new law, 'The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill', that will restrict our right to protest effectively. It will empower the police to stop 'disruptive' protests, ie. ones that have an impact and get attention. The government is thinking of...

"We need to develop workers' capacities"

Henry Chango Lopez (pictured above, centre, before the pandemic) is the new General Secretary of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB). He spoke to Sacha Ismail. In recent years the IWGB has had a high profile in part because it’s grown quite a lot when trade unions in general have stagnated. Why is that? It’s really just about the situation of workers at the moment, the way the economy is, outsourcing, precarious employment – these are problems that many unions have not tackled. Unions do not effectively organise workers in these situations. The problem is so wide...

After the Omnibus Bill, union rights still in retreat

Australia's conservative coalition government led by Scott Morrison has withdrawn most of the remaining provisions of its industrial relations “Omnibus Bill” after cross-bench Senators’ amendments gutted the bill of its main intentions – to increase employer flexibility in offering hours of work, and to allow employer designed Enterprise Agreements to be imposed without union and worker approval, in certain contexts.

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