The Socialist

The Socialist 14 January 2015

NHS in crisis: This emergency is no accident!

The Socialist issue 839

NHS in crisis: This emergency is no accident

Billionaires five times richer than in 2004

Circle vulture flies out of Hinchingbrooke

Stop the Tory strike ban plan

Them & Us


Help build an anti-cuts electoral alternative

Socialist Party Election Appeal 2015


France: counter terrorist threat with mass unity

Charlie Hebdo: no to terrorism

Sri Lankan elections: Butcher Rajapaksa defeated

Germany: what is behind Pegida?


London bus drivers unite in historic strike action

Shift change exposes employer's 'family values'

Tesco: shop workers need fighting union leadership

Workplace news in brief


A new era for New Era

A strange way to protect public services

Sedgehill School besieged by privateers

Freedom Riders ride again

Join the socialists to fight privatisation

Fighting fund targets smashed


Book review: Eleanor Marx - a life

The straightwashing of Pride

 
 
 
 

PO Box 24697, London, E11 1YD

020 8988 8777

editors@socialistparty.org.uk

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/839/19918

Seach this siteSearch the site

Printable versionPrintable version

Facebook

Twitter

Home   |   The Socialist 14 January 2015   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook

Stop the Tory strike ban plan

The Tories want to effectively end the right to strike, photo Elaine Brunskill

The Tories want to effectively end the right to strike, photo Elaine Brunskill   (Click to enlarge)

Last Sunday, in Paris, Prime Minister David Cameron was happy to rub shoulders with fellow right-wing political leaders at the head of the millions strong march to defend 'democracy'.

However, the Tory premier's lofty ideals don't appear to have made it to this side of the English Channel. Au contraire, the Tories have yet again announced more anti-trade union measures for their election manifesto to further restrict the ability of workers to defend jobs, pay, pensions and services.

Among the Tories' latest attacks is the imposition of an unfeasibly high yes vote in strike ballots for 'core public services', such as firefighters, health workers, transport workers and teachers. All groups who have recently conducted high-profile industrial action.

Currently, a simple majority in a workforce ballot is sufficient to allow workers' action. However, Tory transport minister Patrick McLoughlin - who dismissed the recent London bus workers' pay strike (see page 4) as "ridiculous" - wants a new law to impose a strike ballot threshold of 40% of the total membership, not simply a majority of those who actually vote.

For example, if 700 out of a union membership of 1,000 vote in a ballot (a 70% turnout) and the result is 395 yes, 295 no and ten spoilt papers, even though 56% voted yes, under the Tories' rules it is only 39.5% of the overall membership thereby invalidating the yes vote.

Agency workers

The Tories also want to lift a ban on the use of agency workers during industrial action, so that schools can draft in tens of thousands of supply teachers instead of having to close. They also want to impose a three-month time limit after a ballot for strike action to take place and further restrict picketing.

Of course Cameron conveniently omits to mention that his party secured only 23.5% support of the total electorate in the 2010 general election. On that basis, if his proposed rules were applied, the Tories would not have been able to form a government.

Even with Lib Dem support the total coalition vote was 37%, still short of 40%. Indeed, only 15 MPs achieved a 40% yes threshold in 2010.

In fact, no political party in Britain since 1951 has secured the support of 40% of the electorate.

This strike ban proposal, along with the current attack on PCS (see the Socialist 834), has to be fought collectively by the trade unions, both industrially and politically. Thatcher's anti-union laws stayed on the statute book through the Blair and Brown years so it would be a mistake to be just left to a possible Labour victory in May.

This again shows the importance of building a political alternative that can stand against austerity and for union rights.


In this issue


Socialist Party news and analysis

NHS in crisis: This emergency is no accident

Billionaires five times richer than in 2004

Circle vulture flies out of Hinchingbrooke

Stop the Tory strike ban plan

Them & Us


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Help build an anti-cuts electoral alternative

Socialist Party Election Appeal 2015


International socialist news and analysis

France: counter terrorist threat with mass unity

Charlie Hebdo: no to terrorism

Sri Lankan elections: Butcher Rajapaksa defeated

Germany: what is behind Pegida?


Socialist Party workplace news

London bus drivers unite in historic strike action

Shift change exposes employer's 'family values'

Tesco: shop workers need fighting union leadership

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

A new era for New Era

A strange way to protect public services

Sedgehill School besieged by privateers

Freedom Riders ride again

Join the socialists to fight privatisation

Fighting fund targets smashed


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Book review: Eleanor Marx - a life

The straightwashing of Pride


 

Home   |   The Socialist 14 January 2015   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook