Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://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:

triangleUniversity bankruptcy threat - kick the market out of education

triangleUCU: General secretary censured but anti-union laws frustrate strike ballot

trianglePCS members back fightback on pay - keep building pressure

triangleCWI news in brief

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

Union:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleSpontaneous hull walkouts stick two fingers up at Tory anti-trade union laws

triangleSelect Chris Baugh as Left Unity AGS candidate

triangleLeeds TUC conference to organise fight against austerity

Trade union:

triangleCollege lecturers in Wales strike against low pay and workload

triangleCammell Lairds shipbuilding workers walk out

triangleTories Out! General election Now!

TUC:

triangleLeeds TUC: Fighting Austerity in Leeds

triangleTUC congress Brexit debate: unions must lead fight for a general election

NHS:

triangleTories' NHS cash insult - mass action can save our NHS

Workers:

triangleJohn Maclean - revolutionary fighter of the working class

Unions:

triangleThousands march against racism - now Corbyn and unions must take lead

Pay:

triangleHull council workers fight to protect sick pay

Tories:

triangleGive us a bumper Christmas cash boost!

Demonstration:

trianglePeterloo: "If the people were to rise and smite their enemies, was not this the time?" Samuel Bamford, demonstrator

RMT:

triangleLiverpool seafarers demand better conditions

Unison:

triangleBlairite Birmingham steps up union-busting and two workforces plan strikes

Socialist:

triangleJobs and homes not racism - kick the Tories out!

Socialist Party:

triangleThe Socialist quiz of 2018

Public services:

triangleInterserve debts

PCS:

trianglePCS AGS election: Where now after the Left Unity conference?

Westminster:

triangleHands Off HRI campaign group meets Corbyn and Ashworth

Press:

triangleWorldwide threat to journalists at worst for ten years

Privatisation:

triangleAnother victory against NHS privatisation

Public sector:

triangleHealth services in meltdown - fight to save our NHS

Donald Trump:

trianglePittsburgh Synagogue shootings: Unite to fight anti-Semitism and far right

Civil Service:

trianglePCS union members: why we're backing Chris

Austerity:

triangleWomen's Lives Matter national meeting - a determination to fight cuts to domestic violence services

Government:

triangleUCU Wales suspends FE strike action

John McInally:

trianglePCS Left Unity election: All votes should count

Health:

triangleHealth bosses move goalposts on A&E waiting times: more funds for our NHS now!

Human rights:

triangleLondon: Political undercover policing - public meeting

Zero-hour contracts:

triangleSave the high street: public ownership, not ghost malls

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

13/12/18

Strike

UCU Wales suspends FE strike action

12/12/18

Domestic violence

Women's Lives Matter national meeting - a determination to fight cuts to domestic violence services

12/12/18

London

Jobs and homes not racism - kick the Tories out!

12/12/18

TUSC

New twist in Derby TUSC election agent case

12/12/18

Socialist Students

Socialist Students LJMU victory

12/12/18

Union

Workplace news in brief

12/12/18

Cheshire

Veolia waste workers vote for action in Cheshire

12/12/18

Hull

Hull council workers fight to protect sick pay

12/12/18

Hull

Spontaneous hull walkouts stick two fingers up at Tory anti-trade union laws

12/12/18

Chris Baugh

Select Chris Baugh as Left Unity AGS candidate

12/12/18

Shipyard

Strike action saves jobs at Cammell Laird shipyard

12/12/18

Airport

'Stansted 15' - outrageous guilty verdict

12/12/18

Fighting Fund

Give us a bumper Christmas cash boost!

12/12/18

Liverpool

Liverpool seafarers demand better conditions

5/12/18

CWU

WHSmith: hands off our Post Offices!

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


December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999