With Rishi Sunak’s Tory government promising new restrictions on the right to strike, it is more urgent than ever that the entire labour movement unites to resist anti-union laws.
Free Our Unions was initiated by The Clarion magazine and Lambeth Unison. It is now backed by dozens of unions branches, committees, and local Labour Parties. Five national trade unions – IWGB, FBU, RMT, PCS, and IWW – have supported the campaign via their Annual General Meetings and/or National Executive Committees or equivalents. It was initially established to promote and amplify policies passed at Labour Party conferences calling for the abolition of all anti-union laws, not only the most recent, and to demand Labour fight for this policy in opposition and commit to enacting it in government. (For more background to the campaign, click here.)
Free Our Unions now plans renewed campaigning against the Tories’ proposed new laws, and is calling for united and coordinated activity between existing campaign groups currently active on these issues.
Scottish TUC to debate motions on fighting anti-strike laws
The upcoming congress of the Scottish TUC, which takes place from 17-19 April, will see delegates debate several motions on fighting anti-strike laws.These correctly call for the labour movement to fight for the repeal of all anti-union and anti-strike laws, and acknowledge the failure of 13 years of Labour government to make any dent in…
New Free Our Unions leaflet available
Free Our Unions supporters in Nottingham have produced a new leaflet for general distribution, setting out the case against the Tories’ new anti-strike laws.Feel free to download and print for use in your own campaigning.
The Tories are clear about their anti-strike bill
The government has issued a response to the online petition against their proposed new anti-strike laws. The article, which is online here and reproduced below, gives some important insights into their thinking. Most of the emphasis is on “ensuring that services vital for the British people’s lives and livelihoods […] maintain a basic function.” The…
Online meeting, 7pm, 27 February: solidarity strikes with NHS workers
An online public meeting, organised by Free Our Unions and NHS Workers Say No 7pm, Monday 27 February Log in via Zoom here. During the great NHS strikes of 1982 and 1988, hundreds of thousands of non-health workers – steel workers, postal workers, teachers, car workers, council workers, firefighters and many others – went on…
RMT Bakerloo branch calls for a national demo: pass a motion in your branch!
The Bakerloo line branch of the RMT union has passed a resolution calling for their national union to call a Saturday demonstration against the threat of new anti-strike laws.
Add your support: for a national demonstration against anti-strike laws
As part of our efforts to mobilise rank-and-file trade unionists to push for our unions to call a national demonstration against anti-strike laws, we have launched a petition on change.org.
Don’t cross a picket line – join one!
Throughout the current strike wave, misinformation and disinformation has circulated – usually from employers, but sometimes from union officials too – about our rights in multi-union workplaces/industries where one or several, but not all, unions are striking. Some union officials have effectively instructed members to cross the picket lines of other unions.
After the mass strike and day of action: Free Our Unions open organising meeting, 7pm, 7 February
After the mass strike and TUC day of action against new anti-strike laws on 1 February, join us to discuss next steps in the fight against the Tories’ plans for new restrictions on the right to strike.Our next organising meeting, open to all supporters of the campaign, will take place on Tuesday 7 February, at 7pm.…
We need discussion and planning, not just rallies
An attendee reports on the 24 January “Defend the Right to Strike” meeting called by Strike Map, the Campaign for Trade Union Freedom, and others, which was billed as an “action planning” meeting as well as a rally.
Rally and planing meeting, 24 January (called by CTUF, StrikeMap, and others)
The Campaign for Trade Union Freedom has called a rally and planning meeting for activity against anti-strike laws on 24 January, 6pm at the National Education Union HQ in central London (see here for details).Free Our Unions supports this meeting and encourages activists to attend. With 12 top-table speakers currently billed, the event seems to…
Discussion: The “Workers’ Bill of Rights” is welcome, but we need clarity and drive on right to strike
This discussion article was written by a Free Our Unions supporter. We welcome responses and further contributions. Email email@example.com with submissions. At its event in London on 3 December, the Institute of Employment Rights (IER) called for comments on and responses to its new Workers’ Rights in Times of Crisis pamphlet and the “Workers’ Bill…
Discussion: unions must call national demo against new anti-strike laws
By a Free Our Unions supporterAfter months of mainly silence or bullish dismissiveness, unions have started to sound the alarm about the Tories’ new proposals for a “minimum service” law, and at least nod to the need for protest. Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack has called for a “mass movement of resistance”, and…
Demonstrate at Downing Street on 16 January!
RMT has called a protest on Monday 16 January at 6pm, on Whitehall opposite Downing Street (London SW1A 2AA), to oppose the government’s plans for new anti-strike laws.
Free Our Unions open organising meeting: 7pm, 17 January
Join us to discuss how we can catalyse activity in our unions against the Tories’ plans for new restrictions on the right to strike.
Tories plan a dictatorship of the boss
In 1997, Tony Blair approvingly described Britain as having “the most restrictive union laws in the western world.” There is no legally-enshrined right to strike; unions are forced to jump over a series of bureaucratic hurdles in order to take action; strikes for political demands are illegal; strikes in solidarity with other workers are illegal.…