Labour Party conference resolution (1): For strong unions, for the right to strike

The Clarion will be promoting a series of contemporary resolutions for CLPs to send to the 2017 Labour Party conference. For how these motions work and how to submit them, see here. CLPs have until 14 September to submit.

For help or to let us know your CLP has submitted the resolution, email


The start of August saw a series of strikes.

The Picturehouse cinema workers, who struck again on 4-5 August in their fight for the Living Wage and union recognition, were about to reballot for the fourth time to avoid problems with the anti-union laws! We welcome the support our leadership has given these mainly young, private sector workers confronting an anti-union employer backed by anti-union laws and an anti-union government.

At the end of July, following Unison’s legal challenge, the Supreme Court ruled the introduction of employment tribunal fees illegal. Shortly before that the Welsh Assembly voted to exempt devolved public services from the Trade Union Act.

Our manifesto was right that “the most effective way to maintain good rights at work is collectively through a union”. We need an effective right to strike.

We note that our 2015 conference voted unanimously for Labour to “legislate for strong rights to unionise, win recognition and collective bargaining, strike, picket and take solidarity action”.

The next Labour government should

• Repeal the Trade Union Act, and also all anti-union laws introduced by the Thatcher and Major governments.
• Introduce a strong legal charter of workers’ rights – to unionise; win recognition and collective bargaining; strike, for purposes of workers’ own choosing including in solidarity with other workers and for political goals; and picket freely.
• Ensure the right of unions to draw up their own rules and constitutions, determine their policies and activities, and spend their funds as they wish, free from state and employer interference.

(250 words)

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