Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/656/11152
Institute of Directors bosses' organisation bares its teeth at unions
THE RIGHT-wing bosses' organisation - the Institute of Directors (IoD) - has called for trade union collective bargaining to be scrapped for teachers and NHS workers.
Such a measure would enshrine the 'race to the bottom' in terms of workers' pay and employment conditions. This blatant attack on workers' rights follows hot on the heels of government plans to stymie the ability of trade unions to fight spending cuts and low pay with new anti-trade union legislation, commonly referred to as the 'employers' charter'.
The IoD, the government and also the bosses' Confederation of British Industry claim that their anti-worker measures will 'lift red tape' and 'promote job creation'.
In practice, the employers' charter will make it easier to sack workers and push through cuts in public services.
The bosses' organisations and government proposed measures include:
- Increasing the qualifying period from one year to two before workers can lodge unfair dismissal cases and implementing a charge of £500 to lodge an employment tribunal claim.
- Changing the already existing restrictive strike ballot laws by making strikes illegal if less than 50% of union members take part in an industrial action ballot.
- The CBI further insists that a strike ballot should only be valid if over 40% of those entitled to vote do so, instead of the current simple majority of those who vote.
- The IoD is calling for deeper cuts in public spending than even the current coalition government is pushing through.
- It also wants developers to be able to override local objections in the planning system for big infrastructure projects in the greenbelt around cities.
"The IoD pretend they are simply interested in the economy but they are really interested in the naked pursuit of profits by big business at our expense.
They know that the public sector trade unions have the strength to oppose the Con-Dems' spending cuts and clearly they want to break those unions.
Instead, we have got to use our collective strength to break those who would ruin the economy and our public services in the interests of the super-rich."
Martin Powell-Davies, NUT national executive, (personal capacity)
"This threat by the IoD to crush the living standards of health workers in order to make us pay for the crisis in capitalism must be answered in the strongest terms by the trade unions.
In particular, the leadership of the public sector unions must mobilise rank and file trade unionists in a coordinated programme of industrial action to stop cutbacks and attacks on union rights."
Len Hockey, Unison joint branch secretary, Whipps Cross Hospital, (personal capacity)
In The Socialist 9 February 2011:
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party Marxist analysis