Anti-union laws

Campaigns we support — get involved!

Workers' Liberty is heavily involved with and supports several campaigns. Information about some of them is on this page. Labour Left Internationalists Labour Left Internationalists (formerly Momentum Internationalists) works for a renewal of the Labour left based on democracy, internationalism and class struggle. Check out their website, facebook page, twitter account, or email them. Uyghur Solidarity Campaign Building support for the human rights of the Uyghur people of East Turkestan, northwest China. More info here. Free our unions Free Our Unions campaigns for the abolition of all laws...

Return to Gate Gourmet!

Over the decades much of the British labour movement has come to celebrate the stormy Grunwick strike of 1976-78. That does not mean the dominant forces in our movement have absorbed what was important about it. Not 45, but just 16 years ago in 2005, another struggle by mainly South Asian, migrant women workers flared up. The fight of the Gate Gourmet airline catering workers against what is now called “fire and rehire” and against union-busting had important similarities with and differences from Grunwick. Although it did elicit important solidarity action, it did not produce the kind of...

Unite strengthens policy on anti-union laws

At the Policy Conference in Liverpool (18-22 October) of Unite the Union, one of the most important composites passed was about the anti-union laws. Previous policy conferences decided for repeal of all the anti-union laws including the Thatcher ones. This conference passed some concrete policy about a campaign on those laws and on the threatened further “minimum service” legislation attacking transport workers. The composite referred to breaking these laws if necessary, and a special conference if and when the Tories introduce the “minimum service” legislation. It commits Unite to push the...

Trade union struggle and political struggle - an interview with John McDonnell

John McDonnell, Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington and former Shadow Chancellor, spoke to Sacha Ismail. After Labour Party conference, what do you think will happen with Starmer’s leadership? Do you think he’ll be around for a long time? It’s impossible to tell at the moment. At the conference he used the traditional Blairite, Mandelson playbook. Attack your own party to demonstrate you’re a strong leader; do a big personal speech to try to demonstrate you’re a normal human being; make banal statements instead of policy commitments. It didn’t work: the bounce in the polls didn’t happen. The...

High wages? Start with strong unions

The Tories want to present anti-migrant policies and the labour shortages caused by those by policies, by Brexit and by poor wages and conditions in key industries like road haulage and social care as a boon for workers. That was the pitch of Boris Johnson’s speech to Conservative Party conference, promising a “high-wage, high-skill, high-productivity economy” in place of “the same old broken model with low wages, low growth, low skills, and low productivity, all of it enabled and assisted by uncontrolled immigration.” The Tories are being aided in this misdirection by the lack of serious...

Momentum Internationalists Labour conference briefing

Thanks to Momentum Internationalists for this briefing on Labour Party conference (25-29 September, in Brighton) Who are Momentum Internationalists? Momentum Internationalists was formed by activists from the left anti-Brexit campaign Labour for a Socialist Europe, L4SE, in early 2020 to continue the fight for left-wing and internationalist politics after the Tories finally forced through Brexit. We ran candidates in the Momentum NCG elections of 2020 and promoted motions in the Momentum policy priorities ballot of 2021. We are not just a caucus within Momentum. We have been active on the...

Support firefighters' Green New Deal motion to Labour conference

The Labour Party’s Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC) has sparked outrage by ruling out of order the “Green Jobs Revolution” motion promoted for Labour conference by the Labour for a Green New Deal (LGND) campaign and submitted by at least 21 Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs). They have ruled out 45 submissions in all, including one called "Build Back Fairer" about the pandemic and reconstruction, submitted by Newark and Newcastle East CLPs and promoted by Momentum Internationalists. It advocates taxing the rich to attack inequality and reconstruct society. LGND and others are protesting...

Trade unions break silence over the Police Bill. Will they mobilise?

Back in the weeks after the murder of Sarah Everard by Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens, militant protests against the government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill swept the Labour Party into voting against the Tories’ plans in Parliament, which Keir Starmer’s leadership had not intended to do. They also swept trade unions into making public statements and so on against the Bill. However, only a scattering of small unions (IWGB and UVW) and individual union branches made any real effort to mobilise on the streets. Quickly even the statements from trade unions dried up and...

After Sharon Graham's election, some immediate ideas to change Unite

Scrap all Regional Secretary posts. Overhaul the Legal Department. End meddling in lay-member democracy by full-timers. Reformat meetings of constitutional committees. Campaign for union policy on scrapping anti-union laws. Review support for the Morning Star. These are the proposals which a motion passed by my Unite branch earlier this month called on the higher levels of the union’s constitutional committees to give consideration to. The motion was passed in the context of, and on the basis of, Sharon Graham’s election as Unite General Secretary. Graham stood on a platform of change, a focus...

Anti-union laws hit another ballot

RMT's ballot of fleet workers in depots where LU proposes to impose Automatic Train Control (ATC) for trains going into siding returned a 79% majority for strikes, and an 82% majority for action short of strikes. But as the turnout was just 42%, official (i.e., legal) industrial action can't be...

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