Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/934/24377

From The Socialist newspaper, 1 February 2017

Trade Union Act: Strategy needed to defeat anti-union laws and lead the fightback

The National Shop Stewards Network's 'Kill the Bill' lobby of the TUC in 2015, photo Paul Mattsson

The National Shop Stewards Network's 'Kill the Bill' lobby of the TUC in 2015, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

The Tories have confirmed that their anti-union laws, including new undemocratic industrial action ballot thresholds, will come into force on 1 March. John McInally, Socialist Party member and national vice-president of the civil servants' union PCS (personal capacity) looks at how the Trade Union Congress (TUC) reacted to the trade union laws and what comes next.

Certain areas of the NHS have been declared a humanitarian disaster. There is an attempt to smash the RMT trade union on Southern Rail. There are zero-hour contracts, attacks on terms and conditions in the civil service, the wholesale destruction of public services and continued pay freezes for NHS and public sector workers. There are plenty of issues to mobilise workers.

So it is little wonder that workers are asking the question: what is the TUC actually for? That is a question for some union leaderships too - those who accept the status quo, who see no alternative to austerity and are tied into the idea of concession bargaining.

The full-scale privatisation of the NHS is on the cards and there has not been one day of generalised action to stop that. A national NHS demonstration has been called by the rank and file on 4 March while the biggest health union, Unison, has told its London activists not to discuss it.

As for the Trade Union Act itself, the TUC barely lifted a finger to stop the bill becoming law. For example, they organised a rally at Westminster but didn't book enough seats, meaning hundreds of trade unionists never managed to get into the hall.

The campaign was centred on 'I heart unions'- type propaganda instead of explaining to trade union members the implications of the new trade union laws, not just about human rights but in relation to pay, terms and conditions.

This is in contrast to what happened in the 1970s when Tory prime minister Ted Heath tried to implement his own trade union bill which was met with mass resistance, including a TUC-organised special conference, national days of unofficial action and a national demonstration of 250,000 workers. The bill was defeated.

Now we need to make the RMT motion at TUC conference in 2016 a reality. It called on the TUC "to convene an urgent conference of affiliates to provide a practical forum, including workshops, as to how to best coordinate our legal and industrial response to the act."

Battle

As this says, we can't just accept the act and do nothing about it. We need to continue the battle to get the anti-trade union laws scrapped. We need an industrial and political strategy because where struggles are taking place they are individual instead of coordinated struggles.

It's a lack of action and lack of strategy that gives the current, weak Tory government the confidence to press forward.

The TUC should be coordinating the anger and struggles taking place across the country instead of stepping back and giving the Tories a free hand.

There is mass discontent at the present time, industrially and also seen in the protests taking place against Donald Trump, and the TUC and individual unions have a responsibility to take a lead in organising this discontent.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 1 February 2017:


Socialist Party news and analysis

No Ban, No Wall: Socialism not Trumpism

Tide of opposition to Trump surges

Fight for our health service!

Super-rich shareholders cause of pension deficits

Babies in poverty are twice as likely to die

Energy bill hikes con: nationalise them now!

Blairite stitch-up in Stoke Central byelection

Manchester metro mayor: How will you fight cuts?

Millwall victory


What we think

Establishment papers over Brexit chasms


Socialist Party workplace news

Government attack on DWP job centres and offices

Vote for Left Unity in the PCS elections

Trade Union Act: Strategy needed to defeat anti-union laws and lead the fightback

Victory: removed Royal Mail workers reinstated

Strike at ABMU Health Board

Workplace news in brief


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

TUSC: To stand or not to stand?


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Support your newspaper - help us get May Day greetings!

Why I joined: "Things have to change"

Newham council challenged over 1.8 million cut workers' pay

Leicester: libraries fightback

Bristol: Angry meeting discusses tasering of race relations man

Cumbria care home beds under threat

Wallasey Labour 'dispute' escalates

Socialist Students: conference Saturday and Sunday, 11-12 February 2017


Low pay, no way!

End poverty pay now... Get organised!

UK textile workers on 3 an hour!

Slave labour at Sports Direct


International socialist news and analysis

Build 100 days of resistance to Trump's agenda!

Tamil Nadu mass protests against state repression

Bangladesh: 'Hartal' protest against destructive power plant


 

Home   |   The Socialist 1 February 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Anti-union laws:

triangleConference opens debate on Labour and pledges to fight anti-union laws

triangleKick out the Tories: For a Corbyn-led government

triangleJeremy Corbyn's workers' charter

triangleFight for a socialist Brexit

triangleAnti-trade union laws used against 'Trees Action' protesters

Union:

triangleYoung, angry and fighting back

triangleGovernment's tribunal fees defeat

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleBron Afon workers strike against 3,000 pay cut

Trade union:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: How can workers win decent pay?

triangleProtests against state repression in Russia and Kazakhstan

triangleThe left unions and the Labour Party affiliation debate

TUC:

triangleCoordinated action needed to break pay restraint

triangleStriking back against poverty pay

NHS:

triangleThe stress and hardship faced by nurses

Workers:

triangleBin workers - fighting back wins!

Unions:

triangleSouth-East London Socialist Party: The struggle for fighting trade unions

Pay:

triangleGlasgow janitors win famous victory

Tories:

triangleManchester: national Tories Out demo

Demonstration:

triangleFar-right thrown out of Newcastle

RMT:

triangleThe role of the RMT in changing Labour

Unison:

triangleEducation cuts forced back

Socialist:

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Venezuela - is the capitalist class preparing a coup?,

Socialist Party:

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Why do we need international socialism?

Public services:

triangleThem & Us

PCS:

triangleCourt victory for PCS and all trade unions

Westminster:

triangleCorbyn could re-win Scotland with a socialist approach to independence

Press:

triangleOne Housing tenants force housing association back

Privatisation:

triangleGlobal finance: Are those storm clouds ahead?

Public sector:

triangleCorbyn visits Southampton on marginal seat tour

Donald Trump:

triangleTrump and the fossil fuel corporations - a lethal combination for the planet

Austerity:

triangleHow much reserves have councils got?

Government:

triangleVenezuela: Capitalist offensive sharpens after assembly elections

John McInally:

triangleIncreased majority for Democracy Alliance

Health:

triangle40% of England's psychiatric wards are 'unsafe'

Human rights:

triangleHuman rights workers strike in support of sacked union members

Zero-hour contracts:

triangleYoung people...fight for a future, fight for socialist policies

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

21/8/17

Labour

The role of the RMT in changing Labour

21/8/17

Doncaster

Bin workers strike: Sack Suez, stop rubbish cuts!

17/8/17

Birmingham

Bin workers - fighting back wins!

17/8/17

Derby

Vital women's services under threat

15/8/17

Glasgow

Glasgow janitors win famous victory

15/8/17

Summer camp

Summer Camp

11/8/17

Nurses

The stress and hardship faced by nurses

11/8/17

Kazakhstan

Protests against state repression in Russia and Kazakhstan

9/8/17

Coventry

Coventry: march following racist police killing

9/8/17

Hull

Young, angry and fighting back

9/8/17

TUSC

How much reserves have councils got?

9/8/17

Barts

Barts strike: Keep up the pressure on Serco and the trust!

9/8/17

The Socialist

Postie paper sale

9/8/17

Leeds

Support for Socialist Party campaigns at biggest ever Leeds Pride

9/8/17

Mansfield

Campaign fights closure of Chatsworth rehab ward

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle21 Aug The role of the RMT in changing Labour

triangle21 Aug Bin workers strike: Sack Suez, stop rubbish cuts!

triangle17 Aug Bin workers - fighting back wins!

triangle17 Aug Vital women's services under threat

triangle15 Aug US: neo-Nazi violence reawakens resistance

triangle9 Aug Young, angry and fighting back

triangle9 Aug Striking back against poverty pay

More ...

triangle21 Aug Birmingham Central Socialist Party: Lessons from the Birmingham bin dispute

triangle22 Aug Manchester Socialist Party: What is anarchism?

triangle22 Aug Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Why do we need international socialism?

triangle22 Aug Derby Socialist Party: Israel/Palestine - one state or two?

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2