Anti-union laws

Anti-union laws: fight for working-class democracy

Submitted by Matthew on 27 May, 2010 - 12:22 Author: Ira Berkovic

Unite's victory in appealing against the second injunction given against strikes by British Airways workers was extremely significant. If the injunction had been allowed to stand, it would have served as an invitation to bosses across both the public and private sector to seek court bans against any big strike in their workplace and a message that, no matter how spurious the grounds on which they sought that injunction were, they were likely to have it granted.

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British Airways strike: the Flying Bike Picket

Submitted by Matthew on 27 May, 2010 - 12:09 Author: A Workers Climate Action activist

Workers’ Climate Action hosted a “critical mass” cycle ride around Heathrow on 22 May. The event was planned to coincide with the British Airways cabin crew strikes.

After a petty legal skirmish earlier in the week, it was not certain whether a Flying Bike Picket would actually be picketing anyone. In the event though, the mass was a colourful and musical display of creative solidarity and highlighted the current threat to our collective right to strike.

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What do the anti-union laws say?

Submitted by Matthew on 27 May, 2010 - 11:48 Author: Dave Kirk

When activists refer to the “anti-union laws”, we are talking about a whole series of acts brought in by the Thatcher and Major governments between 1980 and 1996, which the Labour government of 1997-2010 did nothing to challenge. Each new act built on its predecessors in often quite elaborate ways to restrict the ability of workers to strike and organise effectively. But what do they actually say?


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Anti-union laws: "workers must defy injunctions"

Submitted by Matthew on 27 May, 2010 - 11:32 Author: Gregor Gall, Professor of Industrial Relations at the University of Hertfordshire

What’s happening is three things. The first is that in disputes which involve large numbers of workers, the possibility of being able to apply for an injunction based on a failure in the balloting process is that much greater.

More workers involved means more complexity in meeting the legal requirements, especially where there are many different grades of worker and they work at many different workplaces.

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Journalists against the anti-union laws

Submitted by Matthew on 27 May, 2010 - 10:43 Author: Will Lodge

On 19 May, journalists at Johnston Press became the latest workers to fall victim of a High Court injunction against planned strike action, on the basis of ballot discrepancies.

Bizarrely Johnston Press, which owns many titles across the UK including the Sheffield Star, managed to convince the court that it employs no journalists, and that to be lawful industrial action needs to be balloted for against each individual subsidiary company. This despite company literature proclaiming that it employs 1,900.

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What About The Ballots?

Submitted by Tubeworker on Mon, 24/05/2010 - 10:52

It was good news that the court overturned the ridiculous injunction against the British Airways cabin crew strike. If the court had upheld the injunction, it would have sent a message to all employers that they can ban ANY strike with the flimsiest pretext.

There is no justice in Britain's anti-union laws. They exist for no other reason than to prevent workers from exercising our right to strike.

Network Rail and courts stop rail strike: abolish the anti-union laws!

Submitted by Matthew on 16 April, 2010 - 5:10 Author: Darren Bedford

Network Rail bosses’ successful use of anti-trade union laws to undermine a planned strike by signallers was the latest in a recent spate of actions by employers (particularly in the rail industry) that have seen High Court injunctions become a default bosses’ response to any big strike.

The first planned strike by British Airways cabin crew workers was also declared illegal in a similar way.

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Bosses use courts to undermine strikes... AGAIN

Submitted by AWL on 1 April, 2010 - 4:15 Author: Ira Berkovic

After pulling a similar stunt with the British Airways dispute, bosses (this time, Network Rail) on 1 April successfully sought a High Court injunction to prevent a democratically-mandated strike action from taking place.


Submitted by Janine on Fri, 02/04/2010 - 17:00

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Bailing Out Bosses

Submitted by Off The Rails on 19 February, 2010 - 10:08

Following a two-year fight to make it public using the Freedom of Information Act, ASLEF Executive member Dave Calfe has confirmed what many of us suspected: train operating companies can be compensated for revenue lost when we go on strike!
Back in 2006, the government allowed the Strategic Rail Authority to compensate Virgin Cross Country for its losses during an RMT campaign of strikes against cuts in Sunday pay rates. This enabled the company to dig its heels in and keep going until it won.

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British Airways dispute: abolish the anti-union laws!

Submitted by Matthew on 14 January, 2010 - 10:12 Author: Daniel Randall

In early December, cabin crew working for British Airways voted — by a huge majority on a massive turnout — for strike action against job cuts and pay freezes. BA management went to court and, eventually, they got an injunction against the strike. The union has now announced a further strike ballot starting on 21 January. But it is a cumbersome process — the earliest BA workers will be able to strike is from the beginning of March!

The December injunction was yet another example of how the law can be blatantly used against workers, squashing their “right” to strike.

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