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:

triangleFight for a socialist Brexit

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

triangleStand with the RMT: unite against Southern Rail and the Tories

triangleStrikes show workers' power

triangleUnite election - fight the Blairites, vote Len McCluskey

Union:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleForest Hill School demonstration

triangleJobstown trial begins

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Trade union:

triangleExcellent Socialist Party trade union meeting

triangleSchool cuts can be beaten

triangleWalkout on three rail networks against driver-only operated trains

TUC:

triangleHow Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party

triangleJoin the 31 March PCS pay protest

NHS:

triangleStrikes can end nurses' poverty pay

Workers:

triangleUsdaw ADM 2017: Left challenge needed to end assault on retail jobs and conditions

Unions:

triangleHealth Campaigns Together meets to chart the way forward

Pay:

trianglePCS Left Unity says get rid of the Tories!

Tories:

triangleCuts, profit and bureaucracy lead to 50% rise in mental health deaths

Demonstration:

triangleThe real origins of May Day

RMT:

triangleTUSC backs RMT Save Our Guards campaign, while local Labour Party blocks debate

Unison:

triangleDerby teaching assistants accept offer to end pay dispute

Socialist:

triangleSupport for socialist programme in Labour Liverpool rally

Socialist Party:

triangleEast London tenants fight 40% rent hike

Public services:

triangleTUSC council candidate vows never to go to the 'dark side'!

PCS:

triangleBenefits workers oppose 'rape clause' and two-child limit

Westminster:

triangleNHS SOS round-up

Press:

triangleTory trouble

Privatisation:

triangle40% of GPs plan to quit - reverse all NHS cuts and sell-offs!

Public sector:

trianglePCS ballot papers out: vote Democracy Alliance

Donald Trump:

triangleTrump escalates geopolitical tensions on Korean peninsula

Civil Service:

triangleEnd the seven-year public sector pay cap!

Austerity:

triangleA bold socialist campaign could get rid of the Tories

Government:

triangleTUSC's programme for local jobs and services

John McInally:

trianglePCS election: Vote Democracy Alliance

Health:

triangleThem & Us

Zero-hour contracts:

triangleThem & Us

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

30/4/17

Liverpool

Support for socialist programme in Labour Liverpool rally

26/4/17

NHS

Health Campaigns Together meets to chart the way forward

26/4/17

BMW

BMW strikers determined to win pensions dispute

26/4/17

Nurses

Strikes can end nurses' poverty pay

26/4/17

Usdaw

Usdaw ADM 2017: Left challenge needed to end assault on retail jobs and conditions

26/4/17

East London

East London tenants fight 40% rent hike

26/4/17

Chechnya

Protests in solidarity with LGBT+ people facing persecution in Chechnya

26/4/17

Trade union

Workplace news in brief

26/4/17

PCS

PCS Left Unity says get rid of the Tories!

26/4/17

NUT

Forest Hill School demonstration

25/4/17

Birkenhead

Peter Taaffe speaks in Birkenhead

19/4/17

London

Picturehouse cinema strike spreads

19/4/17

Education

Mood for a fightback at education conferences

19/4/17

Pensions

Weapons workers continue pension strike

19/4/17

PCS

PCS ballot papers out: vote Democracy Alliance

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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

triangle30 Apr Support for socialist programme in Labour Liverpool rally

triangle26 Apr Health Campaigns Together meets to chart the way forward

triangle26 Apr TUSC's programme for local jobs and services

triangle26 Apr Jobstown trial begins

triangle26 Apr The real origins of May Day

triangle26 Apr How Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party

triangle26 Apr BMW strikers determined to win pensions dispute

More ...

triangle2 May Doncaster TUSC election rally: Tories Out, Corbyn4PM, Socialist Steve for mayor

triangle2 May Manchester Socialist Party: Can Corbyn win on socialist policies?

triangle2 May Bristol Socialist Party: Kick he Tories out!

triangle2 May Merseyside TUSC pre-election public meeting

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

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