Nick Chaffey, Southern and South East Socialist Party secretary

On Tuesday 2 August, GMB officers were arrested by Surrey police whilst lawfully picketing at Surrey Heath bin depot in a dispute over pay at Surrey County Council.

This is the second time GMB officers have been arrested, and indicates an increased willingness of police to intervene on the side of employers and local councils in the face of effective strike action.

With new anti-trade union legislation in the offing from Tory prospective Prime Minister Liz Truss, the trade unions need to step up the response. Maximise our strength in the form of coordinated strike action on pay, linked to a call for the removal of all anti-trade union legislation.

Starmer and Labour’s unwillingness to back the recent strike wave has only emboldened employers and the police to act in this way. If Labour won’t defend workers in struggle, an urgent task for the trade unions is to launch a new party that will fight in our interests on jobs, pay and trade union rights.