Starmer vs. workers’ struggle

By a Free Our Unions supporter With good reason, hundreds of thousands of labour movement activists feel contempt for Keir Starmer and little inclination to treat his pronouncements seriously. Nonetheless, it is an unfortunate fact that Starmer leads the only substantial political party based on the UK’s labour movement. When he uses pro-worker rhetoric –Continue reading “Starmer vs. workers’ struggle”

A general strike against anti-union laws?

This is a discussion article written by a Free Our Unions supporter, in a personal capacity. RMT general secretary Mick Lynch has suggested a general strike in response to Liz Truss’ threat of new anti-union laws. While the militant spirit is good, this does not bring much clarity about what we need to do. InContinue reading “A general strike against anti-union laws?”

Honour the Pentonville Five? Then fight to scrap all anti-union laws!

This is a discussion article, written by a supporter of Free Our Unions 150 people packed into the eve-of-Durham Miners’ Gala rally held by the Institute of Employment Rights (IER) think tank on 8 July. It was hung on the hook of the mass action that freed the “Pentonville Five” fifty years ago this month,Continue reading “Honour the Pentonville Five? Then fight to scrap all anti-union laws!”

Momentum NCG candidates pledge

Momentum, the left-wing network in the Labour Party, is about to hold elections for its National Coordinating Group (NCG). Free Our Unions has worked with Momentum before, collaborating with the Fire Brigades Union in 2021 to submit a motion to Momentum’s Policy Primary. This year, we’re asking NCG candidates to commit to promoting strikes, andContinue reading “Momentum NCG candidates pledge”

Welwyn walkout shows how workers can win

By a Free Our Unions supporter On 10 May, refuse workers in the Hertfordshire town of Welwyn Hatfield launched an unofficial strike to deal with a manager they said was sexist, racist, and bullying. A hundred refuse, recycling, and maintenance workers employed by commercial waste contractor Urbaser, members of Unite, refused to work and madeContinue reading “Welwyn walkout shows how workers can win”

Solidarity with P&O workers! Defy the anti-union laws, and fight for their abolition!

By a Free Our Unions supporterThe disgraceful sacking of 800 P&O ferries workers, and the subsequent union campaign to reverse it, show the abject inadequacy and weakness of existing employment legislation. P&O took their action in the full knowledge that it broke employment law. In the face of recent government threats to legislate to forceContinue reading “Solidarity with P&O workers! Defy the anti-union laws, and fight for their abolition!”

Give workers who refuse to unload Russian fuel legal back-up: repeal the anti-union laws!

Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh has written to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps about the inspiring action of dockers who’ve blocked Russian oil and gas coming into the UK. Haigh says: “There is a real risk under existing laws that for taking a brave moral stand, trade unionists could risk litigation or other action for refusing to handle Russian cargo.Continue reading “Give workers who refuse to unload Russian fuel legal back-up: repeal the anti-union laws!”

Political strikes, the war in Ukraine, and the anti-union laws

By a Free Our Unions supporter Actions by UK dockers in Cheshire, Kent and Scotland’s northern isles to stop Russian fossil fuels from coming to the UK, in protest at the invasion of Ukraine, are part of a proud tradition of workers’ action here for political goals. The ILWU union in the US’s West Coast ports hasContinue reading “Political strikes, the war in Ukraine, and the anti-union laws”

UCU versus the anti-union laws

By a Cambridge UCU member The University and College Union (UCU) last week announced the results of two national ballots. Higher Education (HE) sector members were balloted on two disputes: the long-running “USS” pensions issue, and on the “Four Fights”: pay, workload, casualisation, and inequality. Pensions in HE have been systematically attacked over the pastContinue reading “UCU versus the anti-union laws”

Some critical notes on the “New Deal for Working People” Green Paper

A discussion article written by a supporter of Free Our Unions At the 2021 Labour conference a “New Deal for Working People” Green Paper was published by shadow secretary of state for employment rights Andy McDonald – who then resigned over the leadership’s opposition to a £15ph minimum wage and living-wage-level sick pay. The Green Paper is as good asContinue reading “Some critical notes on the “New Deal for Working People” Green Paper”