Over the coming weeks, we’ll be producing material for activists to use in campaigning against Liz Truss’s threatened new anti-strike laws. We encourage supporters to pass this model motion in their union branches. If you pass the motion, and/or if you want a Free Our Unions speaker to attend a meeting of your union branch or committee, let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This branch notes prospective Prime Minister Liz Truss’s plans for severe new restrictions on the right to strike, including:
• Action within thirty days of taking office to introduce the “minimum service requirement” outlawing all-out strikes in certain sectors that the Tories pledged in their 2019 manifesto for transport – but extended to other sectors too.
• Doubling the minimum notice period for strikes from two to four weeks;
• Raising the threshold for strikes in certain “essential” sectors from 40% of the whole eligible membership voting to 50% and extending this to the whole economy;
• Some sort of “cooling off period” meaning unions cannot strike at will after a ballot mandate;
• Outlawing or restricting strike pay.
This branch notes that Britain already has what Tony Blair once proudly called “the most restrictive union laws in the western world.”
This branch believes these new restrictions would further criminalise effective trade unionism. The whole labour movement must resist. That resistance must not only focus on threatened new laws, but must demand the abolition of all existing restrictions on the right to organise and strike, and their replacement with a positive charter of union rights.
This branch therefore resolves:
• To produce a briefing for members explaining the threatened new laws, and the scale of existing restrictions
• To hold a meeting to plan action around this issue, inviting speakers from campaigns active on the issue, including Free Our Unions
• To work with others, via the local Trades Council [where possible/appropriate] to organise wider local campaigning, including plans for direct action such as demonstrations
• [Where unions have existing policy to organise action: To request that our NEC urgently enacts existing policy to organise action, including national demonstrations, against anti-union and anti-strike laws]
• [Where unions do not have existing policy to support a national demonstration: To support calls for a national demonstration on this issue, and work with other unions to organise this]
• [For Labour-affiliated unions: To raise this issue within Labour Party structures, demanding Labour commits to repealing the laws when next in government, in accordance with its conference policy]