The Free Our Unions campaign has written to other campaign groups active on similar issues to propose joint activity to resist the threat of new anti-strike laws. The following letter was sent to the Campaign for Trade Union Freedom, the Institute for Employment Rights, the National Shop Stewards Network, and Unite the Resistance.
With Boris Johnson’s Tory government planning to impose a ban on all-out strikes in the transport industry, there is an urgent need for renewed resistance across the entire labour movement – both to oppose this new threat, but also to fight against all anti-union laws and for free trade unions.
We are writing to you to propose joint activity and coordinated campaigning to resist these new threats. Although activity by campaign groups is not an alternative to unions using their own resources to organise activity under their own banners, coordinated action by campaigns like ours could help supplement and catalyse such activity.
Since the beginning of 2020, Free Our Unions has been promoting a statement calling for a united front against the new laws; signatories include RMT National President Michelle Rodgers, BFAWU National President Ian Hodson, and UCU General Secretary Jo Grady, as well as Labour MPs Nadia Whittome and Clive Lewis, and several RMT branches. This statement and a list of signatories are online here.
We propose that all campaigns active around these issues, as well as unions and other labour movement organisations, meet to establish a joint campaign coordination that could plan further activity, including demonstrations and other direct action, as soon as possible.
In the immediate term, a meeting has been called in London on Tuesday 11 February at 7pm, in the offices of Lambeth Unison, with the support of Lambeth Trades Council and Islington Trades Council. Details of this meeting are on the Lambeth Unison website, here.
Free Our Unions is also supporting this meeting, and invites you to send a representative to it.
Daniel Randall (Assistant Chair, RMT Bakerloo branch), for the Free Our Unions campaign