Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/845/20160

From The Socialist newspaper, 25 February 2015

How to strike against privatisation

Greenwich Unite members

It is a mistaken but honest belief held by some trade union activists that workers cannot take legal action against privatisation. But there are also right wing trade union leaders who have deliberately spread the myth in order to stop strike action. However, recent strike campaigns have shown that it can be done.

The Socialist Party-led Greenwich local government Unite branch in south London has taken strike action over privatisation. Back in 2012, library workers went on strike against privatisation proposals. While the campaign did not stop the transfer, it secured protection of pay and conditions far in excess of that within the 'Tupe' legislation.

The myth has been spread because the Thatcher government had made political strikes illegal - and a strike against privatisation has long been held to be a political strike. However, the legal issue is avoided by making the strike about the identity of the employer and protecting pay and conditions, rather than about the principle of privatisation.

Notice

The law requires that, prior to a ballot, notice is issued to the employer making clear the issues in dispute. To comply with the law, unions can state in this notice that the identity of the employer is a contractual term and that it believes pay and conditions are safer with the current employer than the proposed one.

Greenwich Unite has recently balloted members working in the 'cash in transit' section on these issues. In nearby borough Bromley, where the council is implementing privatisation on a mass scale, authorisation has been sought from the union for a ballot using the same principles.

Tupe is supposed to protect pay and conditions for transferred staff, but only gives protection at the point of transfer. Once transferred, employers have been using all sorts of mechanisms to attack workers' pay and conditions. Recent legislation waters down Tupe further by removing the protection of national pay-bargained agreements.

Far more effective is the strike weapon, as shown by the Greenwich Library strike. Not only do pay and conditions remain protected, but last year further strike action won 17 new jobs and also a commitment from the employers to stick with national pay bargaining, something they had threatened to withdraw from.

NSSN

Get your latest trade union news with the National Shop Stewards Network bulletin. Sign up at: bit.ly/16sZJxm

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


In The Socialist 25 February 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Kick out corrupt politicians

End the housing crisis!

Councils at breaking point: the strategy to fight back

Put the bankers in the stocks!

Defend the right to protest

Them & Us


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

May Day greetings: Implacable resolve of lowest paid

Nine-fold growth for Grimsby Socialists

Campaign news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Greece: Syriza at a crossroad

Ireland: five anti-water charges protesters jailed


2015 elections

Bristol Greens back 'shocking' austerity policies

Warrington 'vanity project' youth service cuts

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Election appeal: Funded by you - not by big business


Socialist Party workplace news

Left scares Usdaw leadership in elections

Unison activists challenge New Labour

Socialists in Unison call for solidarity with PCS

How to strike against privatisation


Reviews and readers' comments

When women's solidarity won battle for trawlermen

Worse off than our parents

Fight tuition fees - support the TUSC alternative

TV football deal: Reclaim the game for the fans


Socialist history

50 years on: the assassination of Malcolm X


 

Home   |   The Socialist 25 February 2015   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Greenwich:

triangleNo to the Woolwich monster block

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleMcStriker addresses Greenwich trade unionists

triangle'Ana Key MP' - Socialist artist responds to attacks

triangleGreenwich & Bexley Socialist Party: Labour's manifesto - a programme for a socialist Labour government?

Strike:

triangleHundreds join Manc RMT picket line in solidarity after far-right attack

triangleThe 1979 'Winter of Discontent'

triangleSolid strike by Arriva bus drivers

Privatisation:

triangleGrayling's attacks on rail workers wages 'un-fare'

triangleAnother victory against NHS privatisation

triangleHealth services in meltdown - fight to save our NHS

Pay:

triangleUCU: Vote Yes and Yes in the higher education pay and equality ballot

triangleNHS funding crisis: Tory 'super-plan' is a super-con!

Tupe:

triangleRail franchise jobs: TUPE or not TUPE?

Trade union:

triangleFar right attack on Manchester rail workers' picket line - trade union fightback needed

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/1/19

Tamil Solidarity

A key task - strengthen Tamil Solidarity campaign

16/1/19

Demo

'Tories out' demo

16/1/19

UCU

UCU: Vote Yes and Yes in the higher education pay and equality ballot

16/1/19

Manchester

Hundreds join Manc RMT picket line in solidarity after far-right attack

16/1/19

Car industry

Unions must fight and demand nationalisation to save thousands of car industry jobs

16/1/19

North Shields

North Tyneside: march to save our footbridge

16/1/19

Local government

Nothing to declare? Dodgy councillors hide vested interests

16/1/19

Wales

Caerphilly: right-wing Islwyn Labour councillors fight to impose cuts

16/1/19

Surrey

Surrey: save our children's centres

16/1/19

Glasgow

Glasgow: huge turnout to fight closure of Whitehill pool

16/1/19

Chris Baugh

Re-elect Chris Baugh for AGS

9/1/19

Durham

Solid strike by Arriva bus drivers

9/1/19

Leeds

Disruption of Socialist Party meeting shows need for unions to lead real struggle

9/1/19

Socialist Books

'Socialism: Utopian and Scientific'

9/1/19

Tyneside

North Tyneside Campaigning to save our footbridge

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999