Finally freeing our trade unions

A motion passed at Lambeth UNISON’s 2018 AGM. Our union branch is totally committed to the repeal of all the anti-union laws dating back to 1979, not just the Trade Union Act of 2016.

This Meeting Notes:

  1. That the September 2017 Labour Party conference passed policy on repealing the anti-trade union laws and introducing strong legal rights to organise, collectively bargain and strike – but this policy has so far not been widely reported or noticed. There is a danger that, under pressure from employers, the Tories, the right-wing press and more conservative elements in Labour, it will be not carried out.

This Meeting Believes
1. That this is a crucial issue for the whole labour movement. With the possibility of a Corbyn government soon, we need to build the strongest possible support to ensure these demands are implemented.

This Meeting Resolves
1. To ask our branch committee to circulate the following statement (giving them permission to make minor amendments as necessary), asking other union branches, regions, national unions, etc, to add their endorsement; and create a section on our website to be regularly updated with organisations that have signed.
2. To send the statement to all members with a note explaining its importance.

We need the right to organise and strike – free our unions

We are campaigning to abolish the anti-trade union laws which hamstring workers organising and taking industrial action, and replace them with strong legal rights.

We applaud the unanimous decision by the 2017 Labour Party conference to call for repeal of not just the 2016 Trade Union Act but also the “anti-union laws introduced in the 1980s and 90s” by the Thatcher and Major Tory governments and kept in place after 1997; and for a “strong legal charter of workers’ rights”“For unions to be effective workers need an effective right to strike”. This builds on the 2015 conference decision, also unanimous, that the next Labour government should “legislate for strong rights to unionise, win recognition and collective bargaining, strike, picket and take solidarity action”.

We will campaign to ensure:

  • Complete repeal of all the anti-union laws introduced after 1979.
    • Strong legal rights for workers to join, belong to and recruit others to a union; strike by a process, at a time and for demands of their own choosing, including in solidarity with other workers and for broader social and political goals; and picket freely.
    • Strong legal rights for unions to access workplaces, win recognition and engage in collective bargaining, including sector-wide bargaining.
    • The right of unions to determine their own structures, rules and processes, decide their own policies and activities, and spend their funds as they choose, free from state and employer interference, in line with ILO Conventions and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Signed by (as of June 2018)

Lambeth Local Government Unison
Unite Community and Not for Profit Youth Workers NW
Unite Community SE London
Unite Loretto Care Glasgow
GMB London Central General
Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB)
Hackney Picturehouse BECTU (Prospect) branch
Croydon NUT/NEU
PCS DWP East London
RMT Bakerloo Line
RMT London Transport Regional Council
CWU Greater London Combined
Southwark NUT/NEU
Lewisham NUT/NEU
RMT East Ham
Unite Central London Voluntary
PCS DWP Sheffield
Exeter UCU
Barnet Local Government Unison

2 thoughts on “Finally freeing our trade unions

    • Hugh Jordan says:

      Chipping Barnet Labour Party voted in favour of the Free Trade Unions-Repeal the Anti-Unions Laws and to endorse Lambeth UNISON’s statement. Please add us to your list of signatories.

      Hugh Jordan
      Trade Union Liaison Officer
      Chipping Barnet Constituency Labour Party


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