Unite conference demands repeal of all anti-union laws

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Last month’s Unite the Union policy conference voted for a motion committing Unite to campaign for the repeal of all anti-union laws – not just the 2016 Trade Union Act – and their replacement by strong legal rights for workers and unions, including a strong right to strike.

Crucial sections of the text came from motions modelled on the statement initiated by Lambeth Unison, backed by a growing number of union branches and promoted by The Clarion.

While we do not agree with everything in the final composited motion (for the full text see here), it includes very strong policy – see below for crucial sections. For more on what else was passed at the conference, see the report here.

Unite members must campaign to ensure the policy is fought for – including in the Labour Party.

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TRADE UNION FREEDOM

We need abolition of the anti-trade union laws, which hamstring workers organising and taking action, and their replacement with strong legal workers’ rights…

We applaud the 2017 Labour Party conference’s unanimous call for repeal of not just the 2016 Trade Union Act, but also the “anti-union laws introduced in the 1980s and 90s” by the Tories and maintained after 1997; and for a “strong legal charter of workers’ rights”, “for unions to be effective workers need an effective right to strike”.

This builds on the unanimous 2015 decision that the next Labour government should “legislate for strong rights to unionise, win recognition and collective bargaining, strike, picket and take solidarity action”…

… step up the campaign to repeal the Trade union Act 2016 and previous Tory antiunion legislation in favour of new legislation guaranteeing trade union freedoms
… campaign for strong legal rights for workers to join, recruit to and be represented by a union; strike/take industrial action by a process, at a time and for demands of their own choosing, including in solidarity with any other workers and for broader social and political goals; and picket freely…
… campaign for a complete ban on dismissal for industrial action, however long it lasts. Full rights from day one of a job
… campaign for strong rights for unions to access workplaces, win recognition, and establish collective bargaining, including sector-wide bargaining
… campaign for unions’ right to decide their own policies and activities, determine their own structures and rules, and spend their funds as they choose, free from state and employer interference, in line with ILO Conventions and the European Convention on Human Rights
… ensure this campaign remains high profile in the run up to, and during, the next General Election campaign.

Let us know what you think? Write a reply? Email theclarionmag@gmail.com

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