UK RMT Calls For General Strike – to confront Trade Union Act!

UK RMT Calls For General Strike – to confront Trade Union Act!
Wednesday, 14 September 2016
RMT CALL FOR GENERAL STRIKE – to confront Trade Union Act!
THERE was an RMT call for a general strike to confront the Trade Union Act and all anti-union laws at at the TUC Congress in Brighton yesterday.

An impassioned debate on ‘Composite Motion 16 2016 Trade Union Act’ was opened by mover Sean Hoyle RMT warning: ‘The Trade Union Act or rather the anti-union act, seeks to turn back the clock a hundred years.

‘When a worker can’t withdraw their labour, they are nothing more than modern day slaves. Under this Act if we have a workplace of 100 and 49 vote, with every single one voting for strike action, they can’t – just one more vote for a 50% threshold.
‘We shouldn’t have to find a way round legislation.

‘Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to repeal anti-union laws. We need a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government. But we can’t wait. The POA motion to “consider the practicalities of a general strike” was passed four years ago – but there’s been no action.

‘There was no invite to junior doctors to address us. If we’d voted for a Day of Action to defend the NHS, that would have been something that got huge public support. The motion calls for a conference to coordinate our legal and industrial response to the Act.

‘For me that’s a general strike. We need that conference. We need to tell the bosses they can shove their crumbs, we’re coming for the cake.’

Seconding the motion, Tony Burke, Unite, said: ‘With new leadership in the Labour Party we have the opportunity to begin a fight against all anti-union laws. We need the right to organise a union presence in the workplace and a right to collective bargaining.
‘We’ve got to have the right to strike.’

Jerry Glazier, NUT, said in support: ‘The Trade Union Act is the most draconian legislation in anti-union laws. The Act clearly contravenes ILO clause 37 and freedom of association. Lifting the ban on agency workers to break strikes will worsen industrial relations. We have to oppose all anti-union legislation and embolden the General Council to lead a powerful campaign for its repeal.’

FBU delegate Ian Murray said: ‘The Trade Union Act is the most serious attack on workers’ rights for a generation. Statutory restrictions on ballots and thresholds and restrictions on picketing. General Council must convene a special meeting for an emergency plan of action to oppose these legal measures.

‘For the past two years we’ve been talking the talk, we need to walk the walk. We shouldn’t be discussing how we get round this legislation, we should be discussing how we are going to defy it.’

POA general secretary Steve Gillan said: ‘There have been some concessions but as the RMT said this is like crumbs off the table. We don’t want the trade union movement to be in our position having to think outside the box because we don’t have the right to strike.

‘We need to rise up as one trade union movement and get rid of all anti-union legislation not just the Trade Union Act. The trade union movement has not supported us. We’ve had to rise up in our union to defend our members. We need to take the decision so if they attack one union, they attack us all and we have to respect that.’ The motion was overwhelmingly passed.

Corbyn's union backers plan first general strike for 90 years and urge support for law breakers
PUBLISHED: 08:37 EST, 13 September 2015 | UPDATED: 13:05 EST, 13 September 2015

Union barons are preparing to bring the country to a standstill with the first general strike for almost 90 years.
Hardline bosses of unions who backed Jeremy Corbyn to be Labour leader want to stage a 'militant' campaign against a government crackdown on strikes, including backing for workers who break the law.
Mr Corbyn is expected to lead opposition to the plans which would make it harder for key public services to be disrupted by walkouts.
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Unite, led by 'Red Len' McCluskey (left) and one of Jeremy Corbyn's biggest supporters, is calling for 'a broad, militant and imaginative campaign' against the Trade Union Reform Bill.
The Tories want to make public sector strikes illegal unless at least 40 per cent of eligible staff vote for it and turnout in the ballot is at least 50 per cent.
It will also curb picketing, allow firms to employ agency staff to cover for strikers, and change union funding of Labour.
The legislation will be discussed in the House of Commons tomorrow, in a first big test for Mr Corbyn spoke out against it in his acceptance speech yesterday.

Leaders meeting at the Trade Union Congress in Brighton this week have tabled a series of motions calling for organised action in protest at the plans.
The militant RMT union – criticised for staging a series of walkouts on the London Underground – is calling for the TUC to consider 'assisting in organising generalised strike action should legal action be taken against any affiliate in connection with these new laws'.

Unite, led by Len McCluskey (above), one of Mr Corbyn's biggest supporters, has called for a 'militant and imaginative campaign'
It would be the first time that there had been a General Strike since 1926, when work was halted for nine days.
Unite, led by 'Red Len' McCluskey and one of Mr Corbyn's biggest supporters, is calling for 'a broad, militant and imaginative campaign' against the Trade Union Reform Bill.
It even proposes breaking the law, saying the TUC should be open 'to giving maximum possible political, financial and industrial support to those unions that find themselves outside the law'.
General secretary Frances O'Grady said unions will 'chuck the kitchen sink' at a campaign to oppose the Bill.
'People know that the right to strike is an important democratic right. Every fair-minded MP should vote against this.'

It would be the first time that there had been a General Strike since 1926, when work was halted for nine days

New Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, pictured leaving his house today, is piecing together his new shadow cabinet after an exodus of big names from the frontbench in protest at his extraordinary victory
Cabinet Office Minister Matt Hancock told the Sun on Sunday: 'Strikes can grind Britain to a halt and disrupt life for hardworking families.
'We're changing the law so a bunch of left-wing activists can't hold Britain to ransom.
'A strike can only go ahead if at least half the union takes part in the vote.
'It's disappointing to see union leaders respond with blackmail and threats. It's just another sign that Labour is being dragged back to the 1970s.'
Leaders of the biggest unions, including Unite and Unison, backed Mr Corbyn for leader, but the total number of trade unionists who voted was well down on the last vote in 2010.
There were just over 71,500 trade union votes, compared with almost a quarter of a million last time, and fewer than the registered supporters (105,000) and party members (245,000).
Mr Corbyn thanked unions for their support, and singled out the Rail, Maritime and Transport union and Fire Brigades Union, which are both not affiliated to Labour.
He said the Bill was designed to 'shackle' unions and undermine the 'important role' of unions in the workplace.
Leaders of the two unions welcomed Mr Corbyn's election.
FBU general secretary Matt Wrack, said: 'Jeremy Corbyn has been a long standing friend and ally of firefighters and we were proud to support his campaign from the start and without hesitation.

Guest speaker: Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis (right) today offered to help new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn draw up his economic blueprint
'The election of Jeremy Corbyn is a welcome and remarkable turnaround in British politics. It has been based on a groundswell of opposition to ever growing inequality, to the destruction of our public services and to the austerity policies which serve the interests of the rich and big business at the expense of the majority.'
Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said: 'The election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader is hugely significant for RMT members and the wider trade union movement and means that the issues that are impacting on workplaces and communities the length and breadth of the country will now be pushed right to the top of the political agenda.'
Leaders of other unions were ecstatic at the election, saying 'things could only get better', a former Tony Blair catchphrase.
Unison leader Dave Prentis said: 'Jeremy has ignited a spark of hope, a spark that had been dampened for decades. This is a chance to claim back the heart and the soul of the party and make it our Labour Party once more.'
Appearing as a guest speaker at TUC's Brighton event, former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis today offered to help new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn draw up his economic blueprint.
Mr Varoufakis was a controversial figure in the Syriza government before his resignation in July, describing Greece's creditors as terrorists.
However, Mr Corbyn has hailed the rise of the hardleft across Europe as proof the same could happen in the UK.
'I'm here to learn from your experiences in the context of the sea change we have seen,' Mr Varoufakis said in remarks reported by the Telegraph.
'Britain, even though it disdains this particular dimension of its nature, is an essential part of Europe and Europe is in trouble. It has been in trouble for a while.'
He added: '[We] share many views regarding the calamity that befell working Britons as power shifted from manufacturing to finance.

Appearing at the TUC event in Brighton, Mr Varoufakis said he was here to 'learn from your experiences in the context of the sea change we have seen'

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