Anti-union laws

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.

Activist agenda: Safe and Equal, Free Our Unions, Neurodivergent Labour, Poplar 100

Safe and Equal is pursuing its drive for full isolation pay for all with systematic phoning-round of its hundreds of contacts, demands for information from councils and from the NHS Test and Trace operators, and an appeal to other groups for a united front on the issue. Momentum Internationalists has given support; a good informal response from Don’t Leave Organise, but no formal answer yet. Free Our Unions has a Zoom meeting on anti-union laws, Tuesday 2 March, 6:30 pm. Speakers include Gerry Carroll MLA on the Trade Union Freedom Bill in the Northern Ireland Assembly, Mark Porter, Unite...

Activist agenda: Free movement; Sick pay; Right to strike

Safe and Equal will now run organising sessions weekly on Wednesdays at 6 pm, alternate Wednesdays discussions, the other Wednesdays phone-round sessions. The purpose is to push its campaign for isolation pay, which high infection rates make ultra-urgent, so help in the coming weeks will be very valuable: email safeandequal@gmail.com. A particular focus is on careworkers’ isolation pay, and S&E is working with a number of careworkers about local action on that. S&E is approaching other groups which have backed the call for full isolation pay, such as Don’t Leave Organise, to propose a...

Picketing still lawful

Prior to the first day of the Sage care workers’ strike on 15 January, legal advice obtained by the United Voices of the World union suggested that picketing may be unlawful under the new lockdown. After a physical picket line planned for the first day of the strike was called off, picket lines on subsequent strike days happened without obstruction. British Gas workers have also been picketing during their ongoing strikes. Further legal advice has clarified that picketing remains lawful, and the confusion stemmed from the Crown Prosecution Service including misleading and out-of-date...

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.