Anti-union laws

McCluskey “bargains” on Trade Union Bill

Submitted by Matthew on 7 October, 2015 - 10:57 Author: Gemma Short

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey has offered the government a deal on the Trade Union Bill.

On 1 October he sent David Cameron a letter offering to accept the 40% and 50% ballot thresholds in return for the introduction of electronic ballots.

It is not wrong to seek an alternative to postal balloting, which has been imposed on unions. Postal ballots ensure members vote in isolation in their home; they are plagued with problems such as members moving house or just forgetting to post their ballot paper.

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Labour Party conference votes to restore right to take solidarity strike action

Submitted by AWL on 29 September, 2015 - 10:10

On Monday 28 September delegates at Labour Party conference voted unanimously for a motion committing the party to fight the Tories' Trade Union Bill and the next Labour government to "legislate for strong rights to unionise, win recognition and collective bargaining, strike, picket and take solidarity action."

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Submitted by AWL on Tue, 09/29/2015 - 10:22

There is much in this motion that activists in the Right to Strike campaign and on the left more generally would not find ideal, but it nonetheless represents a step forward.

Composite 3 - Employment Rights

Conference unreservedly condemns the Trade Union Bill which had its Second Reading on Monday 14th September and regards it as yet another attack on the employment rights of millions of people in the UK.

Conference acknowledges that the Bill follows a series of measures to erode employment and trade union rights in the last Parliament between 2010 and 2015 such as the Transparency of Lobbying (or Gagging Act) and the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act which has undermined workers’ access to justice. As an ideologically driven attack on trade union rights and freedoms, the Bill does nothing positive for workers but instead tips the scales considerably in favour of unscrupulous employers.

Conference notes that on 6 August it was announced that the legislation will attack public sector unions’ ability to organise by compulsorily ending check-off arrangements. Conference also believes that these measures are harmful to public sector employers, by cutting off an important revenue stream and making it more difficult for them to engage constructively with unions.

It also attacks unions’ right to fund a working-class political voice, including the vital link between unions and our party.

The proposals will:
• allow agency labour to be used to break a strike
• introduce very high thresholds for industrial action ballots
• severely restrict the right to picket and peacefully protest
• render strikes ineffective through longer notice periods
• significantly reduce union facility time and withdraw check off of union dues in the public sector
• give the Certification Officer investigatory powers into trade unions without specific reason
• require union members to “contract in” to their union’s Political Fund every 5 years significantly reducing the ability of unions to engage in political activity.

Conference believes that:
• it is almost without precedent that a government should seek to force through legislation that will undermine funding of the main opposition party.
• this is a partisan and brazenly political attack. David Cameron is targeting union and Labour funding which is fair, clean and democratic, while doing nothing about spending limits nor addressing the fact that Tories are financed by a small pool of mega-rich donors.
• workers’ right, including the right to strike, are essential to the labour movement’s ability to stand up for workers’ interests, and democracy.
• the good work undertaken by the Work and Prosperity Commission in their review of working life before the election offers a useful framework for the Labour Party to develop a policy which strengthens the employment rights of workers in the UK.
• the UK has some of the lowest employment rights protections in the OECD and regrets that our legislation does not comply with ILO core conventions.
• stronger employment and trade union rights increase productivity, reduce inequality and help create a more balanced economy and urges the Labour Party to commit to ensuring they are at the heart of a progressive Labour economic policy.

Conference calls on:
• all sections of the Labour Party to actively oppose the passage of the Bill, together with any associated secondary legislation, through Parliament.
• the Labour Party to use this opportunity to campaign for the introduction of secure workplace balloting to be used in all industrial action/strike ballots and for statutory ballots relating to internal trade union democracy.
• Labour to commit to repeal the Bill and all associated legislation/regulation when Labour returns to Government and to introduce a comprehensive package of employment rights compliant with ILO core conventions and European human rights obligations, along with the levelling up of workers’ rights across the EU; legislate for strong rights to unionise, win recognition and collective bargaining, strike, picket and take solidarity action.

The Party should unambiguously promote trade union membership and workers’ rights and to highlight the positive role played by trade unions in the UK in 2015.

Mover: Unite
Seconder: Derbyshire Dales CLP

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Time to organise

Submitted by AWL on 22 September, 2015 - 5:43 Author: Martin Thomas

Last week the Labour Party set up a petition against the Trade Union Bill which gathered 400,000 signatures in just a few days.

There is a mood to fight the Trade Union Bill, which should be mobilised. Campaigners with the London Right to Strike group meet today (Tuesday 22 September) to plan their next protest and street stalls. We encourage activists around the country to do the same.

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Submitted by WillieBeasley on Tue, 09/29/2015 - 09:07

It is very important to ensure that these labour laws are made more stronger not weaker.It is a conspiracy to tame down the common worker who is not even aware about his rights and is exploited by the owners of the workplace.Get more to read at here .

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Fight for the right to strike

Submitted by AWL on 15 September, 2015 - 6:20 Author: Gemma Short

On Monday 14 September the Trade Union Bill had its second reading in parliament, and passed by 317 votes to 284.

This is not the end of the struggle against the bill. It is time for the labour movement to pick itself up and start organising against the bill.

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Fight for the right to strikeMatthewWed, 09/02/2015 - 12:32

On 6 August the government confirmed that 3.8 million public sector workers will lose the right to have their trade union subscriptions automatically deducted from their pay packet.

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IDS on your bike, we deserve the right to strike!

Submitted by AWL on 18 August, 2015 - 5:49

On Saturday 8 August, more than 15 activists with Right to Strike took a trip to Chingford to serve Iain Duncan Smith with a high court injunction.

Tories and bosses are so keen to take high court injunctions out against our democratically decided strikes that we thought we’d give them a taste of their own medicine.

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Why we need the right to strike

Submitted by AWL on 28 July, 2015 - 5:41 Author: Charlie McDonald

The Tories have wasted no time in turning their manifesto plan to further straight jacket the unions in law.

Proposals in the Trade Union Bill include a 50% minimum turn out and a 40% threshold of those in favour of action in certain “key sectors”: health; education for under 17s; transport; fire services; border security and the decommissioning of nuclear plants and management of waste.

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Unite prepares ground for unlawful action

Submitted by Matthew on 15 July, 2015 - 1:02

Unite the union held its rules conference in Brighton this week.

About 500 delegates debated motions from sectors, branches, equalities committees and regions. 

Two key and contested debates were about the election of union officials and the union’s political structures and affiliation to the Labour Party. 

Unite members do not elect any paid officials other then the General Secretary. There were many different motions calling for the election of different types of officers by different constituencies. These motions all fell and the status quo prevailed.

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RMT AGM pledges to fight attacksMatthewFri, 07/03/2015 - 17:05

The Annual General Meeting of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union voted to back Jeremy Corbyn’s bid for Labour leader, fight the Tories’ attacks on trade union rights, and step up its work on equalities.

As well as committing to militant industrial struggles, delegates also voted unanimously for several emergency resolutions from branches opposing the tightening of anti-union laws promised in the Queen’s Speech. These included support for a national demonstration and rank-and-file conference this year.

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