Anti-union laws

Free Our Unions plans renewed campaigning

Published on: Fri, 10/01/2020 - 19:38
Author

Daniel Randall, Assistant Chair, RMT Bakerloo branch (pc)

The Free Our Unions campaign has made plans to renew its activity in 2020, following an organising meeting in London on 8 January.

It is circulating a new statement, calling for united resistance across the labour movement to the threat of new anti-strike laws. Signatories include Michelle Rodgers, president of rail union RMT, Ian Hodson, president of the Bakers’ union, UCU general secretary Jo Grady, and Labour MP Nadia Whittome.

On the basis of this statement, it plans to approach other campaigns and groups active around similar issues, including the Campaign for Trade Union Freedom,

Resist the Tories’ new anti-strike law!

Published on: Wed, 08/01/2020 - 09:55

In his government’s first Queen’s Speech, Boris Johnson has announced that he plans to introduce new laws to restrict strikes.There could be little clearer indication of the class loyalties of his government than this. Despite his wildly hypocritical appeals to “anti-establishment” feeling, here his government shows its true colours, in attempting to further restrict the ability of working-class people to take action to improve our lives.

The law is designed to initially target the rail and transport industries, imposing a “minimum service requirement” which would effectively ban transport

Sadiq Khan's election leaflet for commuters

Khan Boasts of Strike Fall

Published on: Thu, 02/01/2020 - 20:35

Sadiq Khan has started the New Year with a leaflet (pictured) asking people to re-elect him because he has kept the cost of commuting down. Fair enough, and here at Tubeworker, we would much rather see Khan reelected than the Tory candidate who plans to nick our Nominee Passes.

But what is that final bullet point? A boast about cutting Tube strike days?! That's not the sort of thing we want to see a Labour Mayor boasting about. Morevoer, the fact is that the fall in strike days is largely a result of the 2016 Trade Union Act (which stopped LUL staff striking over the London Bridge 3 and cleaners striking over working condtiions) - not of anything the Mayor has done.

He's going to have to do better than this to win transport workers' support.

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Trade Unions

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Court rejects CWU appeal

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 15:58
Author

Ollie Moore

On 28 November the High Court rejected an appeal by postal workers’ union CWU against the injunction granted to prevent strikes by Royal Mail workers.

A union statement said: “We have just left the High Court. Our appeal was dismissed. Six hours of evidence and they took two minutes to come to a decision. The justice system in this country is an absolute farce.”

Following the rejection of the appeal, most CWU activists think the union will now move quickly to organise a new ballot for industrial action. Some postal workers are discussing an unofficial “work-to-rule” over the Christmas period –

Tories pledge new anti-union law

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 19:37

The Tories, in their manifesto, signal their intention to launch a new assault on trade unions, with a pledge to ban transport workers from all-out strikes by requiring the operation of a “minimum service” during action.

Otherwise the Tory manifesto is very content-light. Despite all the stuff about the Tories junking austerity and spending big on public services, the manifesto pledges barely any new money – about £3 billion, as against tens of billions from Labour and the Lib Dems.

On social care, for instance, it offers virtually nothing beyond an appeal for cross-party consensus.

It pledges

Postal workers still set for strike

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 18:29
Author

A London postal worker

People on the shop floor aren’t happy. Lots of people were looking forward to the strike, it was a chance to really stick it to our incompetent managers, which obviously now won’t happen as soon as we’d hoped.

The conversations I’ve had have ranged from feelings of hopelessness or powerlessness — “what’s the point of balloting if the courts will stop us anyway?” — to anger with Royal Mail for going to court in the first place.

Online, I’ve encountered a very small amount of people blaming the CWU union’s social media campaign (“why did they have to make those videos of offices posting ballots?

PCS and the election

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 14:51
Author

John Moloney

John Moloney is assistant general secretary of PCS, writing here in a personal capacity.

PCS has produced a pamphlet making the case for voting Labour in England and Wales, which has been distributed to members. We don’t want the “vote Labour” position to be passive; the union is using its resources to mobilise members to get out and campaign. We’re targeting 40 seats in particular, either ones which have a large concentration of PCS members living in them, and/or where the Labour candidate has a particular connection to the union, for example two seats where the candidates are former PCS

Facts and figures of the election

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 19:33
Author

Sacha Ismail

The Tories have condemned Labour’s plans as “eye-watering”, “wild”, “reckless”, “unaffordable” and set to “bankrupt the country”, with much of the press singing in tune.

Just after Labour’s 2017 election manifesto came out, Solidarity estimated that its proposals would “take some tens of billions of pounds — John McDonnell estimates £50-odd billion — out of the £1,000 billion a year which currently goes to the rich and the very well-off, or to enterprises under their control”.

The 2019 manifesto isn’t out until Thursday 21 November, but the indications are it will be a similar document to 2017

Industrial news thumbnail reports

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 12:41
Author

Ollie Moore

UCL, LouLou’s, St Mary’s

Outsourced workers at University College London struck on 19 November, after voting for industrial action by a 98% majority.

The workers, who include cleaners, porters, and security guards, are members of the Independent Workers’ union of Great Britain (IWGB), and are striking to demand equality with directly-employed staff.

IWGB members at “LouLou’s”, the exclusive celebrity members’ club in Mayfair, have also voted to strike. Their threat of industrial action has already secured two of their three demands – the reversal of outsourcing and the London living wage.

Repeal all anti-union laws!

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 12:17
Author

Daniel Randall and a CWU activist

The High Court injunction won by Royal Mail to block strikes by postal workers in the Communication Workers Union (CWU) highlights the undemocratic nature of Britain’s anti-trade union laws, and the urgent need for the whole labour movement to renew our fight for their abolition.

Royal Mail claimed that the union’s social media campaign, and its encouragement for members to bring ballot papers to work and write their votes there, breached the 1984 Trade Union Act, which requires that members be able to vote in ballots without “interference” from the union.

The 1984 Act was one of a succession

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