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:

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

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Union:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleTata pension deal: 'Gun to the head' offer accepted

triangleAslef members reject Southern deal - now for coordinated action to fight to win

Trade union:

triangle30% of people on inadequate incomes in UK

triangleSolidarity with Tesco Ireland Valentine's Day strike

TUC:

triangleRMT wins important tube jobs and grading victory

NHS:

triangleHealth cuts responsible for rise in deaths - reverse all austerity now

Workers:

triangleWhat we saw

Unions:

triangle"Disgraceful" treatment of sacked EHRC workers

Tories:

triangleStop the student loan sell-off - scrap all fees

Demonstration:

triangleBristol: Hundreds march against council cuts

Unison:

triangleUnison Women's Conference

Socialist:

triangleObituary: John Pickett - 1954-2017

Socialist Party:

triangleSocialist Party regional conference reports

PCS:

trianglePCS union pledges to fight Jobcentre job losses at public meetings

Westminster:

triangleThem & Us

Press:

triangleNew Socialist Party press

Privatisation:

triangleSupport the NHS? Join the march!

Public sector:

triangleForeign aid's not the problem - it's capitalist thieves

Donald Trump:

triangleSocialism not Trumpism: Thousands more protest and plan to walkout

Civil Service:

triangleLessons of the 'N30' 2011 pension strike

Austerity:

triangleA world to win - give us the resources!

Government:

triangleTower Hamlets anti-cuts budget lobby

John McInally:

triangleTUSC: To stand or not to stand?

Health:

triangleStop victimising NHS whistleblowers

Human rights:

triangleStop the 54,000 yearly maternity sackings

Zero-hour contracts:

triangleOrganise to reverse 28% rise in violence against retail workers

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

22/2/17

Bristol

Bristol: Hundreds march against council cuts

22/2/17

Fighting Fund

A world to win - give us the resources!

22/2/17

Leicester

Leicester Unison no-cuts budget call

22/2/17

Trump

Socialism not Trumpism: Thousands more protest and plan to walkout

22/2/17

Union

Workplace news in brief

22/2/17

Unison

Unison Women's Conference

22/2/17

NHS

Stop victimising NHS whistleblowers

22/2/17

Socialist Party

Socialist Party regional conference reports

22/2/17

Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets anti-cuts budget lobby

20/2/17

Russian revolution

Meetings on the 1917 Russian Revolution

17/2/17

Steel

Tata pension deal: 'Gun to the head' offer accepted

15/2/17

London

Vibrant Picturehouse pickets in continued living wage strike

15/2/17

Leicester

Thousands march to defend Glenfield heart centre

15/2/17

May Day

May Day greetings in the Socialist

15/2/17

Fracking

Toxic fracking could start in England in 2017

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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

triangle22 Feb Support the NHS? Join the march!

triangle22 Feb Thousands more protest and plan to walkout

triangle22 Feb February revolution 1917 - what lessons for today?

triangle21 Feb Dublin: #JobstownNotGuilty

triangle17 Feb Tata pension deal: 'Gun to the head' offer accepted

triangle16 Feb Aslef members reject Southern deal - now for coordinated action to...

triangle15 Feb Socialist Students: growing, brimming with confidence

More ...

triangle22 Feb Caerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: The fight against Trump

triangle22 Feb Hackney & Islington Socialist Party: Russia's February 1917 revolution

triangle23 Feb North London Socialist Party: Russia's February 1917 revolution

triangle23 Feb East London Socialist Party: The 1917 February Russian Revolution

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

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